16Beaver Video Series (Volume 1)

0. Introduction (something from nothing)
1. Jayce Salloum (everything and nothing)
2. Jesal Kapadia (laughing club)
3. Paul Chan (baghdad, in no particular order)
4. François Bucher (attaining the body)
5. Peter Lasch (naturalizations, media defacements)
6. Alia Hasan-Khan (kidnapped)
7. Ayreen Anastas (m* bethlehem, know-fundamentalism)
8. Avi Mograbi (happy birthday mr. mograbi, deportation)
9. Rene Gabri (movements, istanbul why)
10. Emily Jacir (nothing will happen: eight normal saturdays in linz)
11. About 16Beaver

0 . Introduction

Something from Nothing

"Through time, one may arrive at something from nothing." - old Armenian Proverb

To transport what 16beaver does into an exhibition as a one to one correlation is not really possible and always a difficult question. We also find it a real decision whether it makes sense for us to participate at all, so each context is really evaluated for the specific possibilities and opportunities it presents for developing what 16Beaver can be. So without having to represent 16Beaver as a platform, this collection of videos is an intitiative coming directly out of our activities at our space in New York.

The group of videos gathered in this collection specifically for the Home Fronts exhibition are not thematically linked, other than to say that they all:

a. deal directly or indirectly with South Asia or the Middle East
b. try and address a very specific socio-political context that involves or evokes the individual artists' home fronts


1. Jayce Salloum

Untitled: Part 1 everything and nothing, 41 min 2001

untitled' is an ongoing multi-channel video installation continuing Jayce Salloum's series of projects addressing social and political realities and representations, manifestations, and enunciations, focusing on borders / nationalisms / movements (shifts, transitions, and interstitial space/time) and subjectivity and the conditions of living between polarities of culture, geography, history, and ideology.
everything and nothing, part 1 from the continuous tape, "untitled"
Language: Arabic with English Subtitles

An intimate dialogue that weaves back and forth between representations of
a figure (of resistance) and subject with, *Soha Bechara ex-Lebanese
National Resistance fighter in her Paris dorm room taped (during the last
year of the Israeli occupation) one year after her release from captivity
in El-Khiam torture and interrogation centre (S. Lebanon) where she had
been detained for 10 years, 6 years in isolation. Revising notions of
resistance, survival and will, recounting to death, separation and
closeness; the overexposed image and body of a surviving martyr speaking
quietly and directly into the camera juxtaposed against her self and
image, not speaking of the torture but of the distance between the subject
and the loss, of what is left behind and what remains

Jayce Salloum has been working in installation, photography, video, mixed media, text, and performance, since 1975, as well as curating exhibitions, conducting workshops and coordinating cultural projects. His work takes place in a variety of contexts critically engaging the representation and actualization of social manifestations and political realities. A media arts philosopher and cultural activist, Salloum has lectured internationally and has exhibited throughout the Americas, Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East, at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art; American Fine Arts; Artists Space; National Gallery of Canada; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography; Canadian Museum of Civilization; New Langton Arts; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Long Beach Museum of Art; Walker Arts Center; The Wexner Center; YYZ Artists Outlet; A Space; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Western Front; Optica Gallery; Oboro; Dazibzo; Mois De La Photo à Montréal; Miyagi Museum of Contemporary Art; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien; Werkleitz Bienniel; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume; Cinematheque Française; Institute du Monde Arabe; Espace Lyonnais d'Art Contemporain; Shedhalle; Rote Fabrik; Rotterdam International Film Festival; Singapore International Film Festival; British Film Institute; Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville; CaixaForum, Barcelona; and Théatre de Beyrouth. His texts have appeared in many catalogues, and journals such as, Documents, Framework, Fuse, Felix, Public, Pubic Culture, and Semiotext(e). In 2003 he represented Canada at the 8th Havana Biennial.




2. Jesal Kapadia

Laughing Club, 8min 2002

The laughing clubs, also known as laughter yoga, have become a popular phenomenon both in the West and in India, where they originated. Based on laughter’s therapeutic effect on the body as well as inspired by the Reader’s Digest quote, “Laughter is the best Medicine,” these clubs are largely urban entities. This video visits one such club in a park in south Mumbai, a “global city” set uneasily at the juncture of regional, national, and transnational processes. Laughter is explored as an ambivalent phenomenon in which technologies of the self and spontaneous affect become undecideable, registering post-colonial urban anxiety as much as a “natural” human propensity

Artist Statement
My work revolves around the very experience of migration, and its effects on
the immigrant body. The hybridization and appropriation that occurs as a
consequence across both the cultures, is what I try to represent and
question in my work. Drawing from contemporary South Asian literature,
postcolonial feminist theory, questions of nationalism and migration, as
well as the uneven global history of modernist art practice, my intent is to
create a rupture or potential for a break in the space that is occupied
between the Indian and American cultures.

Jesal Kapadia is a visual artist and co-editor of the arts for the journal
Rethinking Marxism. She moved to the United States seven years ago from
Mumbai, where she worked as a Graphic Designer. She is a graduate of the
Whitney Museum‚s Independent Study Program in New York City and a recipient
of the Massachusetts Cultural Council grant for 2003-04 Film and Video
artists. She currently teaches at CUNY College of Staten island and
International Center for Photography.


3. Paul Chan


Part I, BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER is an ambient video essay of life in Baghdad before the invasion and occupation. Men dance, women draw and sufis sing as they await the coming of another war. In seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish). Subtitled in English.

Paul Chan
New York City-based media artist Paul Chan is a 2003 Rockefeller Foundation New Media Art Fellow and director of an online political/aesthetic thinktank at www.nationalphilistine.com.



4. François Bucher

Attaining the Body, 8 min 2003

"Recently, the Israeli army performed an operation whose symbolic content is
so strong and brutally pointed that probably no artist dealing with
television has ever been as successful in speaking about the medium. Their
brutal performance could be a third step in Paul Virilio’s account of the
relationship of the weapon and the image-making apparatus: “Great Importance
was attached to pictorial representation in the Oriental military sects. The
warrior’s hand readily passing from brush to sword. Similarly, a pilot’s
hand trips the camera shutter with the same gesture that releases the
The action, performed around the same time that one of their soldiers had
shitted on a photocopier in Ramallah (“Someone Even Managed to Defecate Into
the Photocopier”), denotes a very sophisticated understanding of the
psycho–sexual and military powers of the televisual image. A kind of
imagistic enlightenment that was used in the most obscure way imaginable..."

François Bucher is an artist from Cali, Colombia; he lives and works in New York City. Bucher’s work investigates “the image” as it circulates in contemporary culture. His reflection focuses on cinema and television highlighting a politics of the moving image. Bucher has initiated several projects and collaborations that seek to open alternative spaces of thought.

His work has been exhibited internationally in group and solo shows including: Fusebox Gallery, Washington DC, Location One, New York, 2002; Empire/State, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, 2002; Speaking Truths, Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, 2002; The S-Files, Museo del Barrio, 2003; White Box, New York, 2002; Valenzuela y Klenner, Bogotá, 2003; Smack Mellon Studios, New York, 2002, 2003; Prague Biennial, 2003; 24/7, CAC, Vilnus, 2003; Slowness, Dorsky Gallery, New York, 2003; Dándole Vuelta la Poder, Centro Cultural La Recoleta, Buenos Aires, 2004, Cine y Casi Cine, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2004; Transmission, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, 2005. His films and videos have been included amongst many other places in the Oberhausen Film Festival, 2002; Impakt, Utrecht, 2002; Next 5 minutes, Amsterdam, Kassel Documentary Film Festival; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck, 2003; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2002; Reencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, 2003; Transmediale, Berlin, 2004; INPUT 2000, Halifax; The Pacific Film Archive at U.C. Berkley, 2003; The New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, 2002; Chicago Filmmakers, 2003, and The Turner Prize Film Program at The Tate Gallery, London, 2002. His work is distributed by the Video Data Bank and is included in the collections of Bard College, Princeton University, University of Essex, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, MUSAC and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Bucher has initiated several projects, amongst them Part Two: A Network Event on World Conflicts, and Television (an address). His essays and projects have been included in Saving the Image: Art After Film edited by Tanya Leighton and Pavel Büchler; Here and Elsewhere edited by OE, Denmark, Journal of Visual Culture, Revista Valdez, Files, MUSAC; Artwurl, the online Magazine of PS 122 (August, 2004) amongst other publications.
From 1999–2000 Bucher attended The Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York. In 1999 he finished his MFA at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago where he received the MFA fellowship prize. He was awarded the first prize at VideoEx, 2003, Zurich; The Prize of the Jury in Videolisboa, Lisbon, 2003, First prize at Premio a la Videocreación Iberoamericana, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, MUSAC, 2004 and the Werkleitz Award 2004 in Transmediale, Berlin. He was also awarded a prize from the Film División of the Ministerio de Cultura, Colombia, 1997, and the Alliance Française Prize in Bogotá, 2001. He is a recipient of The New York City Media Arts Grant of The Jerome Foundation, 2000. Bucher is a founding co-editor of Revista Valdez presented at Centre d'édition Contemporaine, Geneva, 2003 and the Armory Show in 2004.


5. Peter Lasch

Naturalizations: Media Defacements (Episode #1), 90 seconds, 2004
Selection from Naturalizations: The Users' Video Manual
This video moves through 20 fabricated images based on photographs published in the media, all related directly to hidden human faces. The images are accompanied by a soundtrack, voice-over and text that opposes the consumption of identity in the way the various represented masks, burqas, ski-masks, and mirror-masks do.

Short synopsis (49 words):
This video moves through 20 fabricated images based on photographs published in the media, all related directly to hidden human faces. The images are accompanied by a soundtrack, voice-over and text that opposes the consumption of identity in the way the various represented masks, burqas, ski-masks, and mirror-masks do.


Artist statement (Longer Version-661 words):
This short video (90 seconds) is part of an ongoing project I began in 2003. The overall process brings together exchanges, installations, screenings, and social situations under the general heading of Naturalizations and consists of the production and distribution of a set of flat plexi mirror-masks. The overall "theater of the everyday" production is conceived as a page by page publication, each mirror-mask being a page as well, scattered socially, spacially, and temporally. The sum of the growing number of scattered mirror-masks, or pages, constitutes The Book of Mirrors, a book that is only worth reading with two or more people at once. All other edited materials related to the different versions of Naturalizations are compiled in a work in progress called The Users' Manual, which is simultaneously a documentary publication, a manual, an illustrated children's book. The Users' Video Manual is based on the same material, but takes the form of an instructional video composed of short segments that correspond to each facet of the project. These segments, or episodes may be watched together or independently.

Naturalizations: Media Defacements (Episode #1) corresponds to the segment of the project with that same title. All versions before Media Defacements were based on the physical use of the mirror-masks in social contexts which highlight the cultural conflicts inherent in subject formation, national identity, gender, age, race, psychogeography, and many other such "naturally social things". Past contexts include dances, performances, political street actions, and other regular collaborations with Mexican and Latino immigrant groups (Asociación Tepeyac de New York, Mexicanos Unidos de Queens), a restaurant version (Brewster, NY), gallery and museum installations (Baltic Centre for Contemprary Art, England; Mütter Museum, Philadelphia; Queens Museum of Art, New York), experimental workshops and video productions (Las Diosas, What is 16Beaver; The Story of Colors), among many others.

Naturalizations: Media Defacements differs from previous versions in that the mirror-masks are physically absent. The project is now literally contextualized in the more conventional act of reading and viewing the media. Conflicting experiences of the natural or the alien, and the various perceptual shifts the masks habitually produce in their users, are now transferred to the "natural landscape" of photographic journalism and media consumption. I have selected images from the media and have significantly altered them to open an internal dialogue between seemingly disparate areas of the contemporary world stage. The original photographs all share a common icon: human defacement. Indigenous zapatistas wearing black ski-masks in southern Mexico, women wearing blue burqas in Kabul or black abayas in Saudi Arabia, Iraqi torture victims wearing green or black hoods at Abu Ghraib, Jacko wearing a mask in Russia, and black bloc members covering their face in Seattle, are but a few examples of the "refusal of the face" which has become the paradoxical icon of our generation.

Originally published in the journal "Rethinking Marxism" as printed images, the 20 digital constructions that compose this segment are now presented as stills within a video narrative that weaves together picture, sound, and text in consistent strokes of refusal. Just like the masks continually, yet seamlessly evade the gaze and the consumption of identity, the voices and text in the video, escape direct reading and understanding by redirecting sound and meaning in an array of unexpected angles which produce an extended act of viewing and listening.

The eyes of the Western media consistently deface human identity not ready for consumption. The royalties and copyright assumed to belong to he or she who holds the camera are denied to the he or she who is depicted, unless, of course, the camera looks up to the hand that feeds it. The alteration of the "original" media images through the fictionalized spatial possibilities of the mirror-masks disrupts specific habits in the act of reading, viewing, and listening, but it also asks whether a militant viewership is able to reinscribe power in the faces of those who actively refuse to be stripped of all dignity.

Peter Lasch was born and raised in Mexico City, and moved to New York City
in 1994. He currently shares his time between New York City, as director
(also founder) of Asociación Tepeyac‚s experimental arts program "Art,
Story-Telling, and the Five Senses" (El arte, el cuento y los cinco
sentidos), and Durham, North Carolina, where he serves as fulltime
professor of visual arts at Duke University.

About his work

Peter Lasch sees his work as a consecutive set of acts and ideas, which
complement and interrupt the flow of the everyday, a chain of
routine-breaking routines. His role as an artist, educator, activist,
cultural organizer, and producer need to be understood as a cohesive
whole, which develops within specific social situations and exists mostly
outside of the conventional art context. His presentations in museum and
gallery settings represent only a part of his overall production. A
preoccupation with the theory and practice of socially engaged art, which
is rooted in daily exchanges, has led him to the formulation of an
aesthetics based on public interventions, social interactions, games, and
temporal rearrangements.


6. Alia Hasan-Khan

Kidnapped: homage to Karachi, 5 min 2004

Like many mega-cities throughout the world where there is huge disparity in wealth, kidnappings of the elite classes have become a common occurrence in Karachi. This video is a journey through the city, from the perspective of a person kidnapped, lying in the back seat of a car, eavesdropping on the conversation between the two men in the front seat.

Alia Hasan-Khan is a Pakistani artist working and living in the U.S. for the past nine years. Her recent work is concerned with stereotypes and mainstream American representations of Muslims (and Pakistanis, specifically). Her work engages with social and political issues in direct and palpable ways. Through her work she reflects on the constructs of global phenomena like ‘war on terror’ or ‘trade liberalization’ and their impact upon her locale.
She received her B.F.A. from the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture in Karachi, her M.F.A. from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and is a graduate of the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Her work has been included in exhibitions across the U.S., Europe, Canada and Pakistan. She recently has had shows at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Apex Art Gallery, both in New York; a public art project in Austin, Texas; and the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, MD among others. Her work has also been featured in magazines and journals, most recently in the April 2004 issue of Rethinking Marxism. She is currently living and working in Austin, Texas.


7. Ayreen Anastas

Know Fundamentalism, 6 min 2004

A music video for 'Sharraft Ya Nixon Baba' by egyptian political singer Sheik Imam from the seventies. The lyrics of the song, by the poet Ahmad Fouad Najem, welcome President Nixon Sarcastically into the arab world describing the relations between the corrupt leaders and Nixon, which might have given the president the wrong impression that the Egyptian people are an easy prey. ' But as they say, the Egytion flesh is hard to digest'.

The text which scrolls with the song derives from two entries Know-Nothing and Fundamentalism as defined in

m* of Bethlehem, 21 min, 2003

m* of Bethlehem is a video map of Bethlehem in January 2003, inspired
by a map of the city from 1973. It concerned what was absent and what
was represented on the map in relation to the actual site today. Views
include streets during times of curfew, a refugee camp, an encroaching
Israeli settlement, and signs posted on olive trees warning that the
land will soon be confiscated.

*m = meaning also map
the Voice Over -- the meaning of Bethlehem
the Voice Over of the video consists of the Meanings of Bethlehem


1 Former name of Oslo, capital of Norway. 2 The bell itself; the time
of its ringing; the practice of ringing a bell at a fixed hour each
evening (for any purpose). 3 A condition that is required to be
satisfied at all or part of the boundary of a region in which a set of
differential conditions is to be solved. 4 The rights privileges, or
possessions belonging to one by birth, as an eldest son, as being born
in a certain status or country, or as a human being. 5 A region in
which a population of organisms can survive through an unfavourable
period. 6a Keep in a place, within or to limits or a defined area;
restrict, secure. (lit. & fig). b Shut up, imprison (in, into). c
Oblige a person to remain in doors, in bed, etc., through illness, bad
weather, etc. 7a Of an edge of a weapon: blunt. b Of trade: slow,
stagnant, not brisk. c Of goods etc. : not easily saleable. d Of a
person, a mood, etc. : depressed, listless, not lively or cheerful. 8a
The public voice as expressing condemnation. Hence, an opinion
generally expressed. b A loud importunate call; an appeal (for mercy,
help, etc.) c A proclamation of goods or business in the streets; a
street vendor's special call. 9 A military force, a body of soldiers;
spec. a military force raised from the civilian population, as
distinguished from mercenaries or professional soldiers; an auxiliary
military force drawn from the civilian population in order to
supplement the regular forces in an emergency; collect. the members of
such a militia. 10a The faculty by which things are remembered; the
capacity for retaining, perpetuating, or reviving the thought of things
past; an individual's faculty to remember things. b The capacity of a
body or a substance for manifesting effects of its previous state,
behaviour or treatment, or for returning to a previous state when the
cause of the transition from that state is removed; such effects, such
a state. 11 Dear, from base meaning 'to love': a Of a person: not or
no longer in bondage, servitude, or subjection to another, having
personal rights and social and political liberty as a member of a
society or State. b Of a state its citizens, and institutions: enjoying
national and civil liberties, not subject to foreign domination or
despotic or tyrannous government. c Designating (freq. w. cap. initial)
a political or racial group actively opposed to an invading, occupying,
or hostile power d Acting from one's own will or choice and not
compelled or constrained; determining one's own actions or choice
without outside motivation. e Not impeded, restrained, or restricted in
actions, activity or movement; unhampered, unfettered. 12a Precisely,
exactly, just altogether, to the full. b Never happy about our life
together, right from the start. c I was born right here in Clarion. 13
She remembered him clearly; she was proud of her memory. 14 fig. an
organ of sense, esp. an eye (usu. in pl. in windows of the mind and
soul); an opportunity for study and insight. (frep. foll. by into, on).
They ...smashed the window"" 'no walk this day!' said that young
person, looking sadly out of the window. 15a Apartment house, country
house, farm house, manor-house, mansion-house, town house, Wendy house,
etc. b. alehouse, almshouse, bake house, bath-house, bawdy-house,
boarding-house, coffee-house, clubhouse, court-house, custom-house,
doss-house, dwelling-house, eating-house, guardhouse, guest-house,
lodging-house, madhouse, meeting-house, opera-house, playhouse,
slaughterhouse, summer-house, wash-house, whore-house, workhouse,
etc.16 The bomb had demolished a group of houses. 17 Issued by a local
authority for the pulling down of a building or buildings. 18 The
branch of knowledge that deals with human populations; esp. the
statistical analysis of births, deaths, migrations, disease, etc., as
illustrating the conditions of life in communities. 19 A densely
populated slum area occupied by a minority group or groups, usu. as a
result of social or economic pressures; an isolated or segregated
social group or area. 20 In Arabic mythology, a desert demon preying on
travelers; gen an evil spirit or demon supposed to rob graves and
devour corpses; a person unnaturally interested in death. 21 Speak
rapidly and inarticulately; chatter, talk nonsense. 23 You hate them
and wish they were dead. 24 Anything is possible to the man with a
killing weapon. 25 I'll have the story killed and the journalist fired
immediately. 26 What annoyed him was their fanatic sense of
righteousness, their absolute certainty that...they alone had God's
ear. 27 Drain completely of resources.

Ayreen Anastas is an artist living in Brooklyn, New York. Originally from palestine, she moved to germany in 1989 for a DAAD scholarship. Alongside her artistic practice, she is involved in the Artist Collective 16 Beaver Group ≤16beavergroup.org≥.



8. Avi Mograbi

Deportation, 12 min, 1989

A short film consisting of one scene in which three people are deported from their country. What happens in the film looks less like a deportation than anything else. All the brutal externals of the deportation have been peeled away, to leave the act itself exposed to a moral discussion.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi, 77 min, 1999
A Semi-Documentary

Avi Mograbi, a documentary filmmaker is hired by a TV producer to make a film about the celebrations of Israel's fiftieth anniversary. The producer is tuned in to the media, and his mood swings accordingly. When the unemployment crisis breaks out, he washes his hands of the anniversary film and seeks to make a penetrating, socially engaged film instead. The deadlock in the peace-process leads the producer to a decision to make a film that will bring peace to the Middle East. During the newly awakened Gulf crisis the producer shuts himself away behind polyethylene sheets, gas-mask on. At this point he is not interested in making any film at all.

In the meantime a Palestinian film-producer from the Palestinian Authority makes contact with Mograbi. The Palestinians, too, mark the fiftieth anniversary - of the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem - the Nakba (catastrophe). He asks Mograbi to help him out in producing a film about the Nakba. He wants him to shoot locations that used to be Palestinian and became Jewish settlements following the 1948 War. He only wants pictures of places, no interviews nor events. Just places, houses, ruins, signs of life lost.
The same filmmaker tells the camera a story about himself, a story involving the purchase of a lot in the outskirts of the city, with the intention of building a small house to improve the quality of living, fulfill the Israeli Dream. This optimistic project turns into a sheer nightmare. Questions of ownership of the lot lead to violence between neighbors. He develops an obsession of self-documentation. Fragments of supposedly unplanned shooting find their way into the film and construct a personal, seemingly documentary, narrative.
During an interview concerning the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations, Mograbi discovers that this year his own forty second birthday and the State of Israel's fiftieth Anniversary - which is celebrated according the Hebrew calendar - coincide.

The material he shoots for the Palestinian project becomes a kind of a disruption of the film. The remains of the destroyed Palestinian villages invade the film as a kind of pirate broadcasts over legitimate channels. Shots of ruined Palestinian houses, of Palestinian homes turned into Jewish homes, of settlements sprouting ruins of former villages - take over the picture while the sound-track tells the history of those places.

In its last third, the film becomes an argument, a strife between its three channels, its three narratives. Each one tries to overcome the others and take over the screen. One story may take control for a minute, then another disrupts and takes over with a kind of "video static".

The film ends on the eve of Israel?s Independence Day. People are celebrating in the streets. The Palestinians in the Occupied Territories mark the Al Nakba - the catastrophe. Fireworks light up the sky. Palestinian protesters are shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Mograbi sits at home alone and finishes the telling of the three parallel stories.Director’s statement
In 1997 the date of my birthday was two days before Israel?s Independence Day. I was in New York on a family visit and it so happened that I celebrated my birthday two days later, on Independence Day. This coincidence provoked in me thoughts that eventually bore the nucleus to the film ?Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi?.
In 1998 Israel celebrated its 50th anniversary and I decided to celebrate my own anniversary on the same date (though it was due only ten days later. The Israeli Independence Day is marked according to the Hebrew calendar, therefore it is not marked on the same date every year).

The raw idea was to tell two parallel stories. The first about the making of a documentary following the jubilee celebrations. The second about the middle age crisis of the filmmaker making this documentary - me - whose birthday coincides with that of the state. These two stories were supposed to run a dialogue, or in fact argue, on the screen.
For several months I have juggled with this idea but something was bothering me, and when I realised what it was it seemed obvious. I realised there was no way to mark these two anniversaries without marking a third - the Nakba - the 50th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe.
Now, the third channel of the script began to take shape. In this line of story a Palestinian producer hires the same filmmaker to shoot stuff for a film the Palestinians are making to mark the Nakba.

The material he shoots for the Palestinian project takes the form of a kind of a disruption of the film (the ?final? one, the one you watch). Images of remains of destroyed Palestinian villages invade the film like pirate broadcasts invade legitimate channels. Shots of ruined Palestinian houses, ruins of former Palestinian villages - take over the picture without warning reaching the climax of the film on Israel?s Independence Day, the Nakba memorial day and the birthday of the filmmaker of all three films.
I tried to make a film consisting of three different story lines that run in one man?s consciousness, that of the filmmaker of the three films. Only the materials here have greater freedom than usual. They run along the script notes for a while and then take over the script, and create their own order of events. The filmmaker, poor guy, has to cope with the consequences of the new conjunctures created.

Born in Israel in 1956. Between 1979 and 1982 Mograbi studied philosophy at Tel Aviv University and art at the Ramat Hasharon Art School. Since 1982 he has been working as first assistant director in local and foreign feature films and commercials. Directed his first film Deportation in 1989. Filmography includes The Reconstruction (1994), How I Learned to Overcome My Fear and Love Arik Sharon (1997), and Relief (1999, video installation). As scriptwriter, A Tale That Starts With a Snake’s Funeral (1993).



9. Rene Gabri

Movements, 42 min 2002

“You prepare cuts and stage a movement so as to allow reediting, only to find at the editing table that the picture has a completely different movement, one which you have to follow.” Harun Farocki

In 2001, the Iranian born artist made his first journey through Armenia. Marked by a mass exodus of its population due in large part to the socio-economic fallout after the decline of the Soviet Union, and still devastated by the trauma of the earthquake in 1988 and the war with Azerbaijan, the people of Armenia have been facing what continues to be an untenable situation. As with most countries on the ‘losing’ side of capitalism, Armenia continues to be characterized as a nation in ‘transition’, ‘developing’, but more often it seems stalled, along a roadside, unable to move forward or backward, waiting interminably for the arrival of what is to come. The video, a kind of experimental road movie, interweaves extended tracking shots with interviews of road workers, wanderers and hitchhikers, and still sequences of half destroyed churches, half built buildings, empty apartments, cafes, and roadside kabob houses; all the while, tracing the movements of/through a people/country ‘in transition’ and in between (an end and a beginning).

Istanbul Why, 20 min 2004

In 2004, on his way to Singapore, the artist had an 8 hour stopover in Istanbul and thus his first visit to Turkey. The video tells the story of a day's journey into a city, marked by all the unfamiliarties and innocence of discovering a new place as well as the ghosts and specters haunting a relentless and unforgettable past.

Rene Gabri, Iranian-Armenian artist, born in Tehran, moved to Athens, then Los Angeles, now based in New York. Often working with film, video, audio and text; he has been exploring a broad range of topics including cities, memory, confession, popular culture, television, music and issues related to in-between-ness and drifting in general. In addition, to his individual projects, he has been involved with and initiated a broad range of collaborative situations and frameworks.

At the conclusion of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 1999, Rene was involved in starting 16Beaver (16beavergroup.org). Since that time he is active in maintaining an ongoing platform and space for independent critical, cultural, political inquiry and friendship. His work with Ayreen Anastas has evolved a great deal through their work at 16Beaver. Their Radioactive Discussion series was a physical counterpart to their fictional Homeland Security Cultural Bureau (hscb.org) project. Together with Erin McGonigle and Heimo Lattner, he also works with the name e-Xplo (e-Xplo.org), creating projects which often involve mapping, exploring, and developing a vocabulary for particular sites. Most recently he has taught at University of Architecture in Venice and the City University of New York in Staten Island.



10. Emily Jacir

Nothing Will Happen (Eight Normal Saturdays in Linz), 18 minutes 2003

Every Saturday at exactly 12 noon, air raid sirens are heard throughout the city of Linz. Emily filmed the city's main square, taken from an aerial perspective, one minute before noon and one minute after for the duration of her two-month stay at the OK Centrum in the fall of 2003. Each Saturday she recorded the city below and the the sounds of the sirens echoing throughout the city from the exact same position.

Emily Jacir, is a Palestinian artist who lives and works between Ramallah and New York. Her work focuses on issues of movement (both forced and voluntary), dislocation, radical displacement and resistance. It also addresses the unconscious markers of borders(both real and imagined) between territories, places, countries and states. She employs a variety of media in her practice including video, photography, performance, installation and sculpture. Her solo exhibitions in 2004 include The Khalil Sakakini Centre in Ramallah, Palestine; Nuova Icona, in Venezia, Italy; Kunstraum Innsbruck in Innsbruck, Austria and Künstlerhaus Bremen, Bremmen, Germany. In 2003 solo exhibitons include include Debs& Co, NY; Los Angeles International Art Biennial, Frumkin/Duval Gallery, Santa Monica,CA; and the O-K Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria. Jacir was also featured in the 2004 Whitney Bienniel, the 8th International Istanbul Biennial in September 2003 and will be in the Gwangju Bienniel in Korea this September 2004. She has exhibited her work in group exhibitions internationally at spaces which include most recently Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom(2004); Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland(2004); Häusler Contemporary, Munich, Germany(2003); Bury Art Museum, Bury, England(2003); Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria(2003); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania(2003); New Art Gallery Walsall, England (2003); UCR/California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA(2003); Queens Museum of Art, NY(2002); Apex Art, NY (2002); Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria (2002); La Panaderia, Mexico City, Mexico (2002); Kunstbunker, Nuremberg, Germany(2002); Biagotti Arte Contemporanea, Firenze, Italy (2001); P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, NY(2001). Recent articles on her work include The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Parachute, Artforum, Afterimage, Time Out New York, Haaertz, This Week in Palestine and others.


11. About 16Beaver

Since 1999, 16Beaver was set up as an open space or platform, which would evolve, define, and alter itself through the participation and cooperation of various individuals. We have organized well over 200 events, ranging in format from lunches, walks, film/video screenings, and artist presentations to readings, panels, and discussions. It is difficult to really evaluate 16Beaver as an artist collective in the common sense. Consider the following:

a. The “group” is open, changing, and fluid, closer to a growing network of people rather than a member based group.
b. 16beaver as a platform allows for different kinds of collaboration. Some of the individuals involved with 16Beaver do work together, sometimes closer sometimes further from the 16Beaver context. These works might relate in one way or another to 16beaver. However, there is no imperative to see the work they do as Art.
c. The platform itself is also not intended as an art work; thus, no overarching authorship is introduced. It is rather a question of ownership that anyone who feels comfortable can possess.
d. The most ambitious "work" that takes place is of a social and discursive nature and remains largely invisible.
e. All of the individuals/groups involved closely or loosely with 16Beaver produce there own work. This work directly informs the the issues we engage collectively as well as the people we invite to the space.

Thus, 16Beaver acts as an intermediary point, giving space and time for a changing cast of participants to exchange ideas and possibly build ground for collective exchange, production or action (whether through writing, political activity, or other forms of cultural production).

Platform, Political Club, Reading Group or Book Club, Association or Union, Artist Community or Collective, Think Tank or Meet Space or A place to give time. If there is a question of “experimentation” that is implicated in our gatherings and activities, it is by virtue of producing an indeterminate space between everyday life, politics, and cultural production.

16Beaver is the address of a space initiated/run by artists to create and maintain an ongoing platform for the presentation, production, and discussion of a variety of artistic/cultural/economic/political projects. It is the point of many departures/arrivals.

Since 1999, the Reading Group at 16Beaver has organized presentations, readings, discussions, screenings, and panels with/by artists, curators, thinkers, writers, and activists.
Monday nights are an evening to share time and generate discussions, links, ideas. Meetings usually begin at 7pm and the location is almost always at 16Beaver Street, 4th or 5th Floor.Some longer statements:1. When, What, Where is 16Beaver (R. G. + H.G.)


The following text is a re-mix of two texts, one written by Helen Gyger and the other by Rene Gabri

When is 16Beaver?
Central to how 16Beaver functions for me is a certain relation to time. A relation that is based on sustenance, sustainability, regularity, continuity, persistence. Not of the the “forever” kind, forever remembered in time immemorial, immortal time, 16Beaver forever etc., etc. Not even really of the (not for profit) corporation kind of time, outliving its “founders”, its initial members, serving the community with a clearly formulated mission forever and ever, etc., etc..

But of a time that is tied to now and how (how will we be understood, how will we understand each other, how will we get there, how will we formulate or contest prospective destinations). The question of now is in a sense about accountability. How can one be accountable to the present, to the everyday, in our relations to one another, our community, our public? The question of how is in a sense about a utopia, something that might be imagined, might never come to be, something that encourages thinking about that tomorrow, the roads and structures that still remain unbuilt, unexcavated.

This question of “now” may be more easy to grasp, because it is about immediacy, urgency. It relates to issues that arise from engagement with contemporary socio-political-cultural issues, subjects which interest participants, subjects we are interested in within the context of our work or thinking or everyday being as socially engaged individuals (e.g., Haider and the “Freedom” party elected in Austria, Sanctions or War against Iraq, Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, Occupation of Palestine, “Homeland Security”, "War on Terror", United We Stand, etc. etc., …).
The question of “how” is more difficult. It requires time, analysis, interrogation, contestation, debate, etc, etc., … . How does one create and maintain community, what would a democracy or a community underway look like? How could one create and inform and encourage a public, a new public, a new relation to a public for one’s own cultural and political practice? How can one realize, or embody the political or cultural practice one is interested in developing?

In relation to both questions of how and now, or to the question of “When is 16Beaver”, our working response, one which has been formulated largely out of action, has been “everyday”. It is continuous, regular, a part of one’s everyday, a time which takes place in-between the privacy of one’s thoughts and interests and the publicity of manifesting those thoughts into activities, readings, questions, discussions for a larger group. A time that is allotted to one another, with a certain commitment and a belief that out of that time, that given time, that time spent together, some thing or time or idea(s) may emerge, hows may emerge, hows related to nows.
16Beaver happens together, now, always with the possibility of and a relation to tomorrow, without any promises of permanence.

What is 16Beaver?
Time will tell. For now one could say it is an informal collective of artists, writers, and curators, based in New York, utilizing an open and participatory structure, with no official membership or hierarchy. Key activities are based around regular weekly meetings: reading together, presenting work, organizing panel discussions and screenings. The collective is somewhat unconventional in that although it sometimes germinates collaborations through facilitating conversations between artists, and many of those involved with the group are interested in the potential of collaboration as an alternative practice, it does not exist to produce art. Instead, what 16Beaver produces is a space; a platform to think and to talk; a refuge from day jobs, from the commercial gallery scene; an "optimistic community" to support and produce art, with links to other communities of artists and activists; an alternative version of a New York artworld, determined by artists, curators, thinkers, not economics.

Where is 16Beaver?
16 Beaver Street is the address of a small office building in Lower Manhattan, where since 1999 the group has occupied the 5th floor with half a dozen studios and a communal space for meetings and exhibitions. Set up and run by artists to be financially self-supporting, the studio rents cover the shared space without the need for outside grants. The site was chosen as a deliberate point of insertion into non-art world circuits, with the surrounding neighbourhood focused on finance and tourism, housing the New York Stock Exchange, Battery Park, and the World Trade Center site. In many ways, Lower Manhattan marks the historical core of the city, and offers rich economic and cultural exchanges usually inaccessible to alternative art spaces. Finally, beyond this immediate neighbourhood, 16Beaver email lists function as an extended platform for ideas and for posting information, articles, and open calls. In effect, 16Beaver Group operates as a number of overlapping communities, of studio tenants, meeting participants, and online networks