American University of Beirut

Agreement and Deed

​​​​​​​​​​​November 14, 2019 – TBA​
AUB Byblos Bank Art Gallery, Ada Dodge Hall, AUB​

This curatorial improvisation is the direct product of the extraordinary political events unfolding in the streets. Agreement and Deed was conceived and launched in a hurry, without much planning or ceremonial accouterment, to occupy a space opened by the Thawra [revolution]. It is a temporary solution that comes to replace our main planned exhibition for this semester, which was canceled by the 2019 protests. The phrase “Agreement and Deed” – the first two words picked up from one internal Excel document of AUB Art Galleries (reproduced on the walls of the gallery) – was chosen to resonate with the demands made by protestors for a new social contract, a civil state, the end of sectarian division and a technical, or “technocratic solutions” to lasting political problems. Rather than re-arranging the collection following an art historical style, genre, movement (something that we have done already on so many occasions in the past) we opted this time for a strictly technical interpretation. We took a founding document—a contract concerning the donation of a collection of artworks to AUB—and used it to generate our mode of display, the paintings being placed in just the way in which they are listed in the accompanying inventory.  Certainly, a technocratic principle cannot be a lasting resolution to enduring problems of art and curatorship (or of economy and state) but only a point of momentary balance necessitated by these political and social conjunctures.

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