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Artists Explore the Interaction between Cinema and Reality at the the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Live Cinema/In the Round (September 17, 2010 – February 6, 2011) features the works of Ziad Antar, Inci Eviner, Hassan Khan, Gülsün Karamustafa, Maha Maamoun, and Christodoulos Panayiotou, artists from the East Mediterranean region who explore how cinema informs representations of reality through video, installation and performance. The title, In the Round, takes its cue from theater-in-the-round, in which the audience surrounds the stage. The installation of Live Cinema echoes this practice with a multi-room presentation starting with the Live Cinema galleries (178 and 179) and continuing in several of the Museum’s period rooms (galleries 223, 259 and 288). Live Cinema/In the Round is organized by Istanbul-based guest curator November Paynter and coordinated at the Museum by Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

The works on view reconstruct known film genres and make use of both found film footage and theater backdrops. The artists are united by their interest in performance-based practices and by their interest in exploring the conventions of film. Over the course of the last decade, the contemporary art institutions and initiatives in the countries of the East Mediterranean have created more opportunities for mutual cultural exchange and dialogue. A number of artistic residencies and funds now exist that encourage artists to travel between cities such as Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut and Nicosia.

“We are excited to present this extraordinary group of artists at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and are pleased to be collaborating on the organization of a series of great public programs with two local institutions: the Slought Foundation and University of Delaware,” said Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

G.R.A.H.A.M. (2008)
Hassan Khan (b. 1975, United Kingdom, works in Egypt)
Video, 14 minutes
Gallery 179
G.R.A.H.A.M. presents a film portrait in a continuously-shot real-time video of an individual asked to remain completely silent, even while being interrogated off-camera by the artist.
Beklediĝimiz Günler (the days we have waited for) (2007)
Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946, Turkey)
Video, 19 minutes
Gallery 178

Beklediĝimiz Günler (The Days We Have Waited for) is a portrait of Istanbul comprised of footage taken from 1960s and 1970s newsreels that viewed now, appears self-promotional and as such emphasizes the power of cinema as a social tool of communication.

2026 (2010)
Maha Maamoun (b.1972, United States, works in Egypt)
Video, 9 minutes
Gallery 178
Building upon her exploration into the relationship between Egypt’s pyramids and cinematic scenery, 2026 considers the pyramids and their importance to Cairo’s city structure 16 years from now.

(Untitled) Act I: The Departure and (Untitled) Act III: The Glorious Return (2007)
Christodoulos Panayiotou (b. 1978, Cyprus)
Folded theater backdrop and framed photo
Galleries 173 and 178
Two theater backdrops suggesting scenes of introduction and finale are folded and shown on the floor accompanied by a small reference photograph of the unfurled image as it appears when hung on stage.
New Citizen (2009)
Inci Eviner (b. 1956, Turkey)
Three LCD videos; various durations
Galleries 223, 259, and 288
Three video works by Eviner infiltrate the historical galleries of the museum, where traditional decorative patterns are animated by moving female protagonists to interact with the surrounding motifs of the works installed in the second-floor galleries.

La Souris (2009)
Ziad Antar (b. 1978, Lebanon)
Video, 2 minutes
Gallery 178
In this short, precise video, a toy mouse is wound up by the artist and directed at a real mouse trap over and over again. The scene is an empty stage where the mouse is the only performer.

Related Programs:
September 17, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Free to the general public.
INCIDENCE, a live concert by Hassan Khan, will be presented in collaboration with Slought Foundation. INCIDENCE is a seamless, continuous stream of improvisational pieces and music compositions by Khan accompanied by video sequences specially shot by the artist.

Live Cinema Live: An Afternoon of Conversations
September 18, 2010, starting at 1 p.m.
Trabant University Center Theater, University of Delaware
17 West Main Street, Newark, Delaware
November Paynter and Adelina Vlas, 1 p.m.
Nora Alter and René J. Marquez, 2:30 p.m.
Hassan Khan and Brian Kuan Wood, 4 p.m.

About the guest curator:
November Paynter has been based in Istanbul since 2002 where she worked as a curator at Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center until the end of 2006. She was one of two assistant curators of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial in 2005. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Premio Lorenza Bonaldi per L’arte – EnterPrize and the first curator under the age of 30 to be recognized with this award. In 2007, Paynter took the temporary position of Consultant Curator at Tate Modern for the exhibition Global Cities, before moving back to Istanbul the same year to work as Director of the Dubai Artist Pension Trust and as a freelance curator. In addition to writing texts for exhibition publications and artist monographies, she has written for art periodicals including Artreview, ArtAsiaPasific, Bidoun, and Artforum.

About Live Cinema:
Live Cinema is a series of programs in the Video Gallery of the Museum that explore the vast production of single-channel video and filmwork by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists. In the last decades an ever-increasing number of contemporary artists have appropriated these mediums as an artistic outlet, in a dialogue with the early video and Super 8 practices of the ’60s and the tradition of experimental filmmaking. Each program of the Live Cinema series focuses on a specific aspect of this work, in order to both map and analyze this important facet of contemporary art production.

This exhibition is made possible by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Turkish Cultural Foundation and with additional funding from the Turkish Embassy. Public events are supported in part by the University of Delaware Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center and by the Slought Foundation.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States, showcasing more than 2,000 years of exceptional human creativity in masterpieces of painting, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. An exciting addition is the newly renovated and expanded Perelman Building, which opened its doors in September 2007 with five new exhibition spaces, a soaring skylit galleria, and a café overlooking a landscaped terrace. The Museum offers a wide variety of enriching activities, including programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100 or visit the Museum’s website at

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