Mirna Bamieh
Tom Bogaert
Francis Brady
Darine Hotait
Muhammad Khudayyir translated by Elisabeth Jaquette
Lynn Kodeih
Mehreen Murtaza
Lea Najjar
Arjuna Neuman
Larissa Sansour

57 August 2016 

Commissioned by the Transart Triennale 2016, dedicated to Rosi Braidotti's theory of the ‘Imperceptible Self'. Exhibited at Uferstudios, Berlin.

Curated by Rachel Dedman
Designed by studio zumra

Halcyon brought together artists and writers, working in the Middle-East and elsewhere, using the critical possibilities of science-fiction to explore contemporary questions concerning identity, history, technology, spectacle and conflict. Driven solely by video and text-based work, the project considered the models sci-fi offers for the disruption of established narratives, alternative articulations of the self and subtle negotiations of the future. By focussing on writing and text - each of which were given physical form by Beiruti graphic design studio zumra - the exhibition sought to command a slower mode of attention from its viewers.

Tom Bogaert’s work intertwines philosopher and jazz pioneer Sun Ra's fascination for outer space and ancient Egypt, while Mirna Bamieh and Larissa Sansour's works darkly mirror the dystopic horror of the occupation in Palestine. Mehreen Murtaza and Arjuna Neuman address the body: the former in terms of the earth's alien machinations, the latter considering ketamin a synthetic gravity. Lea Najjar scrutinises the impact of artificial light on the psyche, while Lynn Kodeih and Darine Hotait interrogate technology and its intersection with the human in a society consumed by the spectacle of conflict. The texts of Francis Brady and Muhammed Khudayyir, meanwhile, act as reflections on two very different post-apocalyptic worlds.

These artists and writers employ and subvert modes of science-fictive thought in order to unsettle paradigms for historiography, identity-expression and political power. Designed by studio zumra, Halcyon experimented with the exhibition of long-form writing, creating a space in which an audience might spend extended time watching, reading and listening.

Work from Halcyon featured in Aesthetica magazine.

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