Etel Adnan

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Etel Adnan
The Weight of the World

 


Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones.

Painter, essayist and poet Etel Adnan (born 1925 in Beirut) works in various media, from painting, drawing, poetry, film and tapestry. After studying at the Sorbonne and then Harvard, in the late 1950s, Adnan taught philosophy at the University of California and started to paint.

Her early works were largely abstract compositions she was interested in the immediate beauty of colour. These earliest paintings were suggestive of landscapes and included forms that referenced specific places. In the 1970s she moved to the area near Mount Tamalpais in California, which became the central subject matter of numerous paintings and poems.

From the 1960s until the present, Adnan has also made tapestries, inspired by the Persian rugs of her childhood. Over the course of the 1960s, she moved away from purely abstract forms and discovered ‘leporellos’ (accordion-folded sketchbooks) in which she could mix drawing with writing and poetry.

Her writing contains multiple references and responses to the politics and violence in the world around her. From her earliest poem in English, which addressed the Vietnam War, to her award-winning 1978 novel, Sitt Marie-Rose, she explores the political and personal dimensions of violence and articulates her experience of exile from familiar landscapes and languages.

Adnan’s artworks feature in numerous collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the British Museum, London.

Published on occasion of the exhibition Etel Adnan: The Weight of the World at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, 2 June – 11 September 2016.

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Etel Adnan
La Joie de Vivre


After her huge success at dOCUMENTA (13), Museum Haus Konstruktiv is taking the opportunity to honor the painted oeuvre of Lebanese artist, poet and writer Etel Adnan (b. 1925 in Beirut, lives in Paris) with a comprehensive solo exhibition for the first time in Switzerland.

Etel Adnan is often described as a wanderer between cultures, places, languages and forms of expression. In 1959, while also working as a writer, she began to get involved in painting and drawing, later going on to produce fold-out books, tapestries and Super 8 mm films.

From the very start, her painting is solidly constructed, possessing a strong inner structure and organization: rectangles and cubes, laid on top of each other and beside each other, constitute her architectural vocabulary. She produces her work in one painterly flow, without making any corrections or painting over anything later.

Her painting style is strict, earnest and sensitive, without any sensationalism or superfluous embellishment. Her images play with memories that take on abstract forms and nevertheless develop a high degree of emotional strength.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Etel Adnan: La Joie de Vivre at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, 29 October 2015 – 31 January 2016.

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I Have Left You the Mountain
Simon Battisti, Leah Whitman-Salkin, Åbäke (Eds.)

 
I Have Left You the Mountain
Edited by Simon Battisti, Leah Whitman-Salkin, Åbäke

With contributions by Etel Adnan, Mourid Barghouti, Michel Butor, Claire Fontaine, Yona Friedman, Anri Sala, Michael Taussig, Yanis Varoufakis, Ornela Vorpsi, Finn Williams; the singers of Fier, Vlorë, Himarë, and Tirana

“I Have Left You the Mountain,” published on the occasion of the Albanian Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, presents ten new texts written by contemporary writers and thinkers on the architecture of displacement. These texts have been set to music and sung by some of the last remaining groups of Albanian iso-polyphonic singers, an art form now protected as “intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO.

A living art form in step with the generations of migration and transition, “singing migration” has been a core part of processing departure, longing, and return. The Albanian Pavilion is a space of collective listening; of “individuals in company.”

“I Have Left You The Mountain” initiates a conversation about the urbanism of displacement, projecting the Albanian case onto an international stage, with the express intention to transmit that dialogue and its speculations back into Albania.

The singers of Fier: Petrit Canaj, Llazar Dumi, Kastriot Halihoxha, Nesim Meno, Muharrem Mezani, Guri Rrokaj, Fatmir Tahiraj, Shaban Zeneli; the singers of Vlorë: Adriatik Cenko, Viktor Gjoka, Sinan Gjoleka, Vendim Kapaj, Piro Latifaj, Dejrim Mustafaraj, Trifon Malaj; the singers of Himarë: Luljeta Çipa, Valentina Gerdhuqi, Violeta Gerdhuqi, Zaharulla Koka, Polite Merkuri, Eglanda Prifti, Vojsava Zenelaj; the singers of Tirana: Dhurim Ballo, Sotir Ballo, Nazo Celaj, Trifon Golemi, Hyso Xhaferraj

Published on the occasion of the Albanian Pavilion at the15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
Design by Åbäke

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Hans Ulrich Obrist
Sharp Tongues, Loose Lips, Open Eyes, Ears to the Ground

Edited by April Lamm
Introduction by Paul Chan, afterword by Etel Adnan, ode by Olafur Eliasson

Following Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating* *But Were Afraid to Ask, this second volume in the series on international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist presents a selection of his key writings from the past two decades, which elaborate on the manifold thinkers, curators, and events that influence his interdisciplinary practice of exhibition making.

The collected essays form the compartments of Obrist’s curatorial toolbox, along with elucidating his views on stewardship, patronage, and art itself. Influences and interlocutors cited and discussed here include, among others, Alexander Dorner, Édouard Glissant, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jean-François Lyotard, Dominique de Menil, Josef Ortner, Cedric Price, Sir John Soane, and Harald Szeemann.

Design by Zak Group

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