Universes in Universe

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1 March - 29 September 2022

Darat al Funun, Amman
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Curator: Rana Beiruti

Re-rooting is an exhibition of projects that highlight interventions, dialogues, and reflections, conducted at a local scale, that subvert and transform systems and pre-conditioned understandings of the three most pressing concerns in Jordan today; water politics, agro-ecology, and extractive building practices.

The constellation of works presented attempts to untangle the complex histories that make up the current crisis of economy and ecology, not only in an effort to denunciate them but also to showcase hacks, diversions, and solutions. They look at forms of self-determination and autonomy performed by local communities as a rejection of normalized exploitative and colonial models.

Each in their own way, the works presented unveil discourses on time, memory, disappearance, and, more violently, theft and erasure. They play on predicted and imagined futures to reflect on the loss of resources, land, seeds, knowledge, power, and agency. Within this "earth memory," we are learning about the power of indigenous practices and knowledge, as well as storytelling and mythology, in providing cues to alternatives for reversing the current state of "unlivability" characterized by exhausted geographies, imposed scarcities, unjust economic systems, and an irreversible degradation of natural landscapes.

Re-rooting is about charting and redirecting those intricate and complex systems which operate invisibly and underground, carrying within them the histories and memories which continue to feed and nourish our existing realities. The process of re-rooting is not a nostalgic "return to our roots," but a process of building new channels of connection with the earth.

Within the process of re-rooting is a process of re-routing. The works presented abandon notions of "earth-keeping" and sustainability to adopt processes that are regenerative, reversible, and biophilic when it comes to building our habitats and rewilding our cities. Under these new proposed ideas, ethical foraging and gathering become forms of resistance, and cooking and eating become performative acts, with each recipe becoming a pillar of cultural memory and exchange.

The exhibition acts as an aggregator of the collective local voices, showcasing real-world interventions as well speculative and reflective works done by artists, anthropologists, chefs, designers, farmers, foragers, scientists, bakers, nutritionists, photographers, and filmmakers who place artistic practice at the heart of what they do.

Participants include: Abeer Seikaly, Ayla Hibri, Deema Assaf, Deema Dabis, Eman Haram, Hareth Ramzi, Hussein Al Azaat, Karmah Tabbaa, Khalid Al Bashir, Mais Al Azab, Melika Abdel Razzaq and Soraya Ghazelbash, Mirna Bamieh, Nadia Bseiso, Nujud Ashour, Paola Farran, Rawan Baybars, Sarah Risheq, Sima Zureikat, Taghmees, and Zikra for Popular Learning.

Guest curator Rana Beiruti

With a background in architecture, Rana’s interests lie at the intersection of knowledge production, cultural engagement, and community development. Her research interests revolve around land-based and social practices in the region, with a focus on topics related to land, material, craft, and the urban landscape.

Rana was previously the director of Amman Design Week, the largest non-commercial flagship event for design in the region, which she co-founded in 2016. Rana was also previously the director of the Lab at Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation, where she curated an exhibition program for emerging artists and compiled and retrieved Darat al Funun’s 30-year archive of events, exhibitions, photographs, print material, and artwork and made it available to the public.

(From press information. © Image: Courtesy of Darat al Funun)

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Darat al Funun

The Khalid Shoman Foundation
13 Nadeem al Mallah St.
Jabal al Weibdeh
Opening hours:
Sat - Thu 12 am - 7 pm
Fri closed

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