Universes in Universe

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Walid Raad & Jalal Toufic - Seminar

At unitednationsplaza in Berlin, Germany, 31 Jan. - 12 Feb. 2007
Oct 2006

Led by Walid Raad and Jalal Toufic, this seminar will explore Toufic’s concept of the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster, which he first advanced in Over-Sensitivity (1996) and then elaborated further in Forthcoming (2000). To detect this withdrawal, whether symptomatically or otherwise, one is well advised to look for it in messianic movements as well as in artistic and literary works: “With regard to the surpassing disaster, art acts like the mirror in vampire films: it reveals the withdrawal of what we think is still there. ‘You have seen nothing in Hiroshima’ [Hiroshima mon amour]. Does this entail that one should not record? No. One should record this ‘nothing,’ which only after the resurrection can be available.” We will ask if and how one can record this “nothing,” as well as how to contribute to the resurrection of the withdrawn tradition—without this resurrection tradition becomes a counterfeit of itself. The seminar will consist of a series of close readings of Toufic’s writings, to be complemented by screenings, and other presentations by invited writers, artists, and filmmakers whose works deal, directly or indirectly, with the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster, the counterfeit, and the resurrection of art and tradition.

The seminar will include a special presentation by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.


Exhibition as school. Structured as a seminar/residency program in the city of Berlin, it will involve collaboration with approximately 60 artists, writers, theorists and a wide range of audiences for a period of one year. In the tradition of Free Universities, most of its events are open to all those interested to take part. unitednationsplaza is organized by Anton Vidokle in collaboration with Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Martha Rosler, Walid Raad, Jalal Toufic, Nikolaus Hirsch, Natascha Sadr Haghighian and Tirdad Zolghadr.

© Text: Press information by the organizer

Seminar at unitednationsplaza, Berlin, Germany
31 January -
12 February 2007
all sessions 7- 9 pm


Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14a
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