Sumac Space

Dialogues Exhibitions About Artists' rooms


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  • Mohamed Abdelkarim–Renegades, Ghouls as Telos, Diasporic Peregrination in Apostasy, and the Moltibodied Monadic Roots of all Roots
  • Ali Eslami–On the Creation of Virtual Spaces with their own Temporality
  • The Tellers Symposium [Audio/Video Recordings]
  • On the Ashes of Masculinity: Flavia Malusardi in Conversation with Ibrahim Ahmed
  • “The 3-Day Effect”: Rana ElNemr in Conversation with Esraa Elfeky
  • Sara Sallam–On Seeing, Searching, and the Book “Let My Eyes Have a Glimpse of You”
  • The New Gods: Srđan Tunić in Conversation with Omar Houssien
  • Floating on a Surface of Words, and Never Drowned in Its Meaning–A Lecture Performance by Mohamed Abdelkarim
  • Frames Cracked by Lines of Doubt–A Trialogue
  • Of Cities and Private Living Rooms: Huda Takriti in Conversation with Huda Takriti
  • Between research, perspectives, and artworks: Farzaneh Abdoli in Conversation with Ahoo Maher
  • Plants, Language and Politics: Victoria DeBlassie in Conversation with Alaa Abu Asad
  • Noor Abuarafeh–On “Observational Desire on a Memory that Remains”
  • Azita Moradkhani–Interwoven Drawings. On Storytelling, Body Images and the Uncertainties of History
  • Ruth Patir–Cross-temporal Reflections on Womanhood
  • On Ongoing–A Series of Five Artist Conversations [Video Recordings]
  • Jafra Abu Zoulouf–Poetic Repetitions Towards an Affirmation of Existence
  • Joana Kohen–I Grow My Own Peace in a World of Utter Alienation
  • Parisa Aminolahi–Living in the Moment Post-Cinematically
  • History/Image: National Memory Beyond Nationalism
  • Navid Azimi Sajadi–Beneath the Surface
  • Nilbar Güreş–The Semantic Diversity of Material
  • Elmira Abolhassani–Mirroring the Real
  • Elham Rokni–On Looking into the Cracks in Identity
  • Camila Salame–A Garden of Tongues
  • Taha Heydari–Painting as Thinking Act
  • Christine Kettaneh–Language as Source and Subject
  • Farzaneh Hosseini–On the Challenges of Being an Artist
  • Anahita Razmi–Speaking Nearby Iran
  • Benji Boyadgian–The Investigation of Material as an Archive
  • Floating on a Surface of Words, and Never Drowned in Its Meaning–A Lecture Performance by Mohamed Abdelkarim

    [You have to invent your archive (pseudo archive) and harmonize it with your personal history]

    [You can replace the following paragraph with another one that reflects your experience with the notion of the archive, sublimity and the act of mentioning in a broader sense]

    That is what I often ask myself when I get stuck in a flock of events represented by images: I ask myself what I have in common with these events, characters, stories and places, I ask myself what my eyes saw, and what I missed seeing. I am unable to see details; I am easily tricked by sublimity; to me, “sublime,” means a giant object, or a giant subject. I see many elements. I mention some and I ignore others, I mention what I see, and I mention what I pretend not to see. That is how stories are created; that is how I create stories. In this practice of mentioning, both the object and the subject are very contextual.

    I see only a balloon,
    I can’t see the sky or the tree.

    I see towers,
    I can’t see these small tiny buildings or the sky.

    I see the sky,
    I can’t see the bird or the flag.

    I see a lighthouse,
    I can’t see the mountain or the sea.

    I see a sky,
    I can’t see a lighthouse.

    I see a yellow buoy,
    I can’t see the sea.

    I see a staircase,
    I can’t see the sky.

    I see a man.

    I still see the man.

    I see a surveillance camera,
    I can’t see the men.

    I see men falling,
    I can’t see them laughing.

    I see a life buoy and nothing else.

    I see heat and I don’t feel it.

    I see people gathered around the heat.

    I see a man,
    I can’t see the train.

    I see a gate and I see the sea.
    I can’t see the land or the people.

    I see a boat.

    I see the cold,
    and I feel it.

    I see nothing.

    Now I see everything,
    or I pretend to…

    Certain practises of seeing ask:
    What is sublime over the land?
    And what in the sea?

    Components align to create a landscape that asks: You like that, don’t you?
    Aesthetics grab your gaze, to normalize you in a new landscape: take it or leave it, that’s up to you.
    Oh, you take it
    So “Hello! You integrated after being forced to flee.”

    But listen
    Then see
    That was a collection of words, it was the poem itself that enchanted me
    We sang images that contained violence
    That’s why I’m going to stop the rhyme

    As an attempt to return to the subject
    The subject where I try to be more realistic
    That’s why I go through introductions and never dive into the content, as if my text were a mystic
    Follow a form, pretend to be artistic
    Reality from my position is a collection of uncertain words, agonistic
    I return to the rhyme, to aestheticize everything as fascistic
    Those words create a surface like a rough liquid
    I am not brave enough to dig in and go inside 

    Although I am aware that there are many verses that need explaining
    I float on a surface of words, and
    I never drown in its meaning.

    Mohamed Abdelkarim‘s practice is performance oriented. He considers performance as a research method and a practice through which he produces texts and images that embody the forms of poetry, scripts, sound, and video. Employing and reflecting on different performative acts like narrating, singing, dancing, detecting, and doing, his work is concerned with the performance of renegades in a time of crisis, complicating the relationship between geography and the fugitive. As part of his performative practice, he established “Live Praxes“ – a performative project that brings together lectures, debates, readings, critical responses, and creative quests, alongside with organizing performance nights.

    Sumac Space is a venue for raising questions and conversations.
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    Sumac Space is a venue for raising questions and conversations. It is updated every Thursday with a new, fresh dialogue/text. Subscribe to the newsletter to be kept up to date.
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