Thursday, April 25, 2019, 7 pm
Borrowed Faces: A Prologue

Lecture-Performance by Fehras Publishing Practices (artist collective, Berlin)

With their lecture performance Borrowed Faces: A Prologue, the artist collective Fehras Publishing Practices presents three fictional characters who take us on a journey into the 1960s. The Cold War era was among the most fertile and critical periods in the cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean region and North Africa. Politics became deeply entangled and intertwined with culture and at the center of cultural change were writers, poets, and translators, many of whom established collectives and initiatives, publications, and publishing houses.

In an exemplary way, the characters drawn by Fehras Publishing Practices travel through an international network of academic and cultural institutions and move between opposing political affiliations. Their testimonials point to the role of international cultural foundations, organizations with dubious funding sources, and global institutions that strategically support local publishers. The depicted experiences are located between historical facts and fiction, between the artists' own biographies and the information they collected from archives, publications, letters, memoirs, and photos of protagonists and institutions from the Cold War era, as well as between cultural practices then and now. Fehras Publishing Practices are questioning autonomy and independence in the midst of rival forces pushing for cultural hegemony while reflecting on their own collective work as a political practice.


Fehras Publishing Practices was founded in Berlin in 2015 by Kenan Darwich (b. Damascus, 1981), Omar Nicolas (b. Homs, 1987), and Sami Rustom (b. Aleppo, 1988). The artist group is concerned with processes of publishing as instruments of creation, transmission, and observation of cultural knowledge. The three were artists-in-residence at Villa Romana, Florence (2017), Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2018), and elsewhere. Selected recent exhibitions: KMK, San Sebastián (2019); Sharjah Art Foundation (solo, 2018); EMST, Athens (2018); Kampnagel, Hamburg (solo, 2017); Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2017); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017); SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2017); Sharjah Biennial (2017); Kunsthal Aarhus (2016); SALT Galata, Istanbul (2016).


In German with Arabic and English interventions
Free admission