Friday 4 May – Sunday 13 May 2007

Opening May 4th 5 - 7pm

THIS DAY is a series of short films and video works by international artists, whose work refers to the Middle East from their own cultural, social, historical and political contexts.

Selected by Predrag Pajdic over eight themed programmes This Day features works by more than forty artists from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria in addition to those from Europe and the USA whose subject matter relates to the Middle East. This Day will directly engage with contemporary art practice from the region but act as a survey not of the geographical territory but rather its cultural, social and political contexts.

The ongoing events in the Middle East produce a flow of images that are often of war, destruction and conflict. Channelled by the media, these images remain in the subconscious, coming to mind whenever the term ‘Middle East’ is mentioned. This Day hopes to challenge these representations by showing video works that relate to the region but defy stereotypes.

The aggravated global political climate has paved the way for a new perspective in Middle Eastern contemporary art practice. Aesthetics have been re-formed by a desire to relate to the world in a wider sense. More than ever before, short film and video from the region now insist upon a certain degree of realism, upon the courage to consider basic ethical and political problems and the courage to question the various limits of freedom.

THIS DAY will open on the 4th May with a live art performance Make Me Stop Smoking by renowned artist Rabih Mroué


Rabih Mroué: Make me Stop Smoking
Friday 4 May 2007, 19.00

live art perfirmance/lecture
Introduced by Predrag Pajdic

'I have been collecting worthless material for almost ten years now, taking good care arranging it, documenting it, indexing it, and preserving it from any possible damage. This material is constituted of cut outs from local newspapers, photographs, interviews, news stories, excerpts from television programs, objects and other things…? Today I possess what resembles an archive, or let’s say I possess a real archive that relates only to me: a kind of added memory that occupies different corners of my domestic space, despite the fact that I do not actually need. It is an invented memory that is exhausting me, and which I cannot liberate myself from. For this reason, I will uncover some parts of my archive, hoping that by making it public I can get rid of its weight. This will be my attempt to destroy a memory that doesn’t know how to erase itself.' Rabih Mroué

PLAY: Saturday 5 May 2007, 15.00
Introduced by Yasmeen Al Awadi

On a remote control one presses ‘play’ when ready to start watching. The programme introduces experimental video works, which are individual in that they choose to hone in, or focus attentively on single elements. These seemingly unrelated pieces introduce that method which lays behind the overall strategy of the series. Attention is the contemporary artists tool when dogmas are no longer useful. To focus may be all we need to do. Videos include:

Abdellatif Abdul-Hamid (Syria), Our Hands, 8.40 min, 1984
Mania Akbari (Iran), Self, 5:58 min, 2003
Mireille & Fabian Astore (Lebanon), 3494 Houses and One Fence, 6 min, 2006
Yasmeen Al Awadi (Kuwait), Two Square Kilometres, 6.30 min, 2006
Mounira Al Solh (Lebanon), Canteen Stories, 6.19 min, 2006
Nedim Kufi (Iraq), Electro I, 10 min, 2006
Rabih Mroué (Lebanon), Face A / Face B, 10 min, 2002
Vesna Milicevic (Serbia), A Picture of Orient, 13.34, 2007
Anthony Abou Khalife & Jean-Noel Aoun (Lebanon), Dancing Was The Only Way To Avoid Deafness, 5.06 min, 2006
Khaled Hafez (Egypt), Idlers’ Clip, 4.37 min, 2005

TRAVELLERS' TALES: Programme One Saturday 5 May 2007, 17.00
Introduced by Doa Aly

This line-up concerns travelling, migration, borders, and checkpoints. British passport holders are often unaware of the ‘politics of travelling’. Besides crossing international borders, movement from one village to another or across a city, one might encounter a storm of political and historical meaning. Pressures and fantasies of a better life which cause the desire for migration are countered by the limits of walls, checkpoints, occupations, as well as economy and status. Works include:

Rowan Al-Faqih (Palestine), Security Leak, 02:05 min, 2006
Sharif Waked (Palestine), Chic Point, 7min, 2003
Maja Bejevic (Bosnia), Le Voyage, 7.53 min, 2006
Hala Elkoussy (Egypt), From Rome to Rome, 16 min, 2006
Doa Aly (Egypt) Chinese Sweet, Chinese Pretty, 20.40 min, 2006
Nassim Amaouche & Annemarie Jacir (France/Palestine) A Few Crumbs for the Birds, 28.30 min, 2005
Enas Muthaffar, (Palestine), A World Apart Within 15 min, 3 min, 2006

TRAVELLERS' TALES: Programme Two Saturday 5 May 2007, 19.00
Introduced by Larissa Sansour

The programme consists of two films that retrace movement elucidating the changes to the concept of making a journey. One references an important cultural event transcribing Pasolini’s travels across the region, the other marks out a personal passage which contrasts with the larger political forces at play.

Ayreen Anastas (Palestine), Pasolini Pa* Palestine, 51 min, 2005
Sameh Zoabi (Palestine), Be Quiet, 18 min, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Sunday 6 May 2007, 1700
Introduced by Rachel Wilberforce & Ali Cherri

This programme begins to unpick some of the causes and effects, actions and reactions, to conflict, militarisation and bereavement. More specifically they address forces brought to bear through propaganda, subliminal messages, instinctual drives and psychological scarring. Although treated separately, seeing these works together may allow connections and responsibilities to become visible that often remain obscure. They are:

Jackie Saloum (USA), Planet of the Arabs, 9 min, 2003
Ali Cherri (Lebanon), Untitled, 3.15 min, 2006
Shadi Habib Allah (Palestine), On-going Tale, 5.03 min, 2005
Mahmoud Hojeij, (Lebanon), You Can Come In, 27 min, 2007
Hisham Jaber (Lebanon), Breaking News, 8.42 min, 2006
Diane Nerwen (USA), The Thief of Bagdad, 4.30, 2003
Annemarie Jacir (Palestine), An Explanation: (and then burn the ashes),
6 min, 2005
Rachel Wilberforce (UK), Sponsored Hijack, 5 min, 2006

REALITY CHECK: Friday 11 May 2007, 19.00
Introduced by Predrag Pajdic

Reality Check is a selection of videos that restores those everyday concerns often ignored when we think something catastrophic is happening. They are the appetites & desires, loves & seductions, socialising & gossip all people deal with. These inevitably touch on intolerance, prejudice, despair, taboos, pain and fears inherent in human pleasures. Including:

Akram Al-Ashqar (Palestine), Red, Dead and Mediterranean, 1.32 min, 2006
Larissa Sansour (Palestine), Land Confiscation Order 06/24/T, 10.45 min, 2006
Oreet Ashery (UK), Why Do You Think I Left?, 10 min, 2002
Ahmed Khaled (Egypt), 5th Pound, 14.11 min, 2005
Khalil Rabah (Palestine), The Wall Zone Sales, 6.28 min, 2004
Nesrine Khodr & Ghassan Salhab (Lebanon/Senegal), 32 min, 1998
Mohammed Hammad (Egypt), Call Centre, 17.28, 2006

AKRAM ZAATARI: Programme One Saturday 12 May 2007, 17.00
Introduced by Predrag Pajdic

This retrospective presents short films and videos by Akram Zaatari, an artist and curator based in Beirut, whose work examines the conflicts, images and documents that have shaped the Lebanese condition. He is co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut, through which he has developed his research on the photographic history of the Middle East.

Teach Me, 6 min, 1996
How I Love You, 29 min, 2001
Crazy Of You, 26 min, 1997
Red Chewing Gum, 10 min, 2000
Baalbeck: The Drift, 22 min, 2001

AKRAM ZAATARI: Programme Two Saturday 12 May 2007, 19.00

The second part of the Akram Zaatari retrospective includes This Day (2003) and In This House (2005).
Followed by the conversation with Akram Zaatari

REPLAY: Sunday 13 May 2007, 19.00
Introduced by Predrag Pajdic

The programme examines the nature of memory and how it contributes to our personal and historical knowledge. By considering memories and dreams therapeutically, and as sources of information, the works also clearly point out that future recollections will be based on what is happening now. The archiving of testimonies in these pieces parallels the human tradition of storytelling, narrative and mutual support through conversation. These fragile socially held thoughts bring forth strange symbols when disturbed or destroyed. Works by:

Shady El Noshokaty (Egypt), A Voice From Heaven, 7 min, 2005
Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), Replay (bis), 9:12 min, 2002
Lina Saneh (Lebanon), I Had a Dream Mom, 45 min, 2006
Mario Rizzi (Italy), Impermanent, 15.09 min, 2006
Khosro Khosravi (Iran), The Fifth Grade, 4.53 min, 2006
Omar Amiralay (Syria), A Plate of Sardines, 17 min, 1997

All Programmes will take place at the Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern

Cost per programme £5 (£4 concessions)
Season tickets cost £25 (£20 concessions)
booking recommended!
book online
or by phone on +44 (0)20 7887 8888