Tamáss 1: Contemporary Arab Representations
Artwork by Michel Lasserre, Walid Raad. Edited by Catherine David. Text by Tony Chakar, Bilal Khbeiz, Elias Khoury, Rabih Mroue, Marwen Rechmaoui, Walid Sadek, Jalal Toufic, Paola Yacoub.
Tamss--which means contact, touch, contiguity, adjacency, tangency and confrontation line(s)--is part of Catherine David's long-term project Contemporary Arab Representations. The project comprises seminars, performances, publications and presentations of works by different authors--visual artists, architects, writers and poets--with the aim of encouraging productions, interaction and exchange between the different cultural centers of the Arab world and the rest of the world. It aims to tackle heterogeneous situations and contexts that may sometimes be antagonistic or conflicting, and thus to acquire more specific knowledge about what is currently going on in certain parts of the Arab world, to look at the complexity of aesthetics in relation to social and political situations, and to encourage people to think more deeply about the role played today by cultural practices in our own countries. Tamss 1 is dedicated to Beirut and Lebanon, and to the development and promotion of an experimental, critical contemporary Arab culture. All those taking part in the project aim to propose representations that can broach the reality of the city and the present conditions of its society, realizing that there are no theories or forms that can encapsulate the phenomenological complexity of contemporary Beirut and Lebanon. Tamss 2 is dedicated to Cairo.