Seeing through Erasing: Audiovisual Archaeology and Activation of Absent Images


25 Oct 2022, 17:00 – 25 Oct 2022, 18:30


Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) American University Beirut

Vortrag von Iris Fraueneder am Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) der American University Beirut

When images disappear, become unavailable or are prevented from becoming visible for political or historical reasons, certain artistic and curatorial counter-strategies seek to transcend this material unavailability. They try to reactivate them in other modes, which leads to questions like: How do images operate, become alive and take effect when someone talks about them, when voices articulate what is materially absent and/or invisible? And how can active erasure intervene in invisibility and convey other forms of vision? In my research within the regional context of Lebanon and Palestine-Israel I examine aesthetic practices in film and the arts that propose an understanding of reality that is not representation-positivist, but also considers layers of the invisible as real and constitutive of reality. In this presentation, I will focus on various filmic gestures by Ghassan Halwani and Kamal Aljafari. I will juxtapose their filmic operations with those of other filmmakers and diverse cultural practices in the region that challenge the unavailability of images. By taking up scientific methodology yet leading it to realms beyond proof, they aim for an aesthetic experience entangled with political practices leading to other forms of knowledge constitution, epistemic systems and agencies.

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a. American University of Beirut