‘An Indefinite Series of Discontinuous Acts’ – an artistic research collaboration with Jad Khairallah and Zohar Iancu at the Hangar Centre for Artistic Research, Lisbon

An interdisciplinary research project conducted at the Hangar Centre for Artistic Investigation, Lisbon, by Nithya Iyer (AUS) with the supervision and curatorial support of Cristiana Tejo.

An Indefinite Series of Discontinuous Acts was an experiential research project exploring how arts-based research methods can deepen inquiry into critical theory, wit a specific focus on emergent themes in culture studies. Engaging the MIECAT Form of Inquiry – a phenomenological research method developed by the Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Art Therapy (MIECAT) – in relation to the theses of PhD and Masters students at the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (Zohar Iancu and Jad Khairallah), the project aims to uncover and present the potentialities of arts-based approaches to academic practice in creating and disseminating inclusive and multi- sensorial forms of knowledge.

Traversing themes of ambiguity as practice, inside/outside, thresholds and liminality, and the shifting markers of contemporary cultural citizenship, this exhibition features audio-visual installations, visual and text-based works that represent key outcomes from the research.

This project was supported by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Australia.

 

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‘…the human body is defined in terms of its property of appropriating, in an indefinite series of discontinuous acts, significant cores which transcend its natural powers. This act of transcendence is first encountered in the acquisition of a pattern of behaviour, the in the mute communication of gesture: it is through the same power that the body opens itself to some new kind of conduct and makes it understood to external witness. Here and there a system of definite powers is suddenly decentralized, broken up and reorganized under a fresh law unknown to the subject or to the external witness, and one which reveals itself to them at the very moment at which the process occurs.’- 

Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty 1962 (174)

 

Featured works and collaborators:

Nithya Iyer AN INDEFINITE SERIES OF DISCONTINUOUS ACTS (MA, Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Art Therapy)

 

Zohar Iancu   ON RITUALS, LIMINALITY AND MY GRANDMA ON THE WALL by Zohar Iancu (PhD, Universidade Católica Portuguesa)

  An installation and research synthesis, these works explore liminality – a state of ‘in-betweenness’ – by tracing the relationship between chaos and creation, the sacred and the profane, the personal and the political. Merging academic research and performative practice, Zohar’s research experiments with rituals and liminal zones as significant sites where alternate knowledges are created and transformed.   Zohar is currently undertaking her PhD in the Lisbon Consortium Culture and Performance Studies program at the Catholic University of Lisbon. She graduated in Psychology and Sociology at The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. She also holds a Diploma of Research and Documentary Argument from the Open University of Israel, from which he graduated with Honors. She has a special interest in the symbolic boundaries between Academy and Art, knowledge production mechanisms and feminist theory.    

Jad Khairallah  

DE-STRUCTURE: A BEIRUT UNDER SHOCK by Jad Khairallah (PhD, Universidade Católica Portuguesa)  

By combining academic research and on-ground observations, the works dwell on establishing a metaphorical architecture raised in the city of Beirut, Lebanon that communicates in relation to minorities and queer shock tactics. The installation pieces explore the dichotomic social play of above/under and present notions of visible and invisible tracings. While the research implies definite intersectional crossings, the event of the Beirut port explosion of August 4 distorts the structure creating a framework of ‘shock as explosion and explosion as shock’.  

Jad Khairallah received his Masters degree of Arts and Design from Notre Dame University (Lebanon) in 2014. After five years of working in Interior Design, he is currently a Doctorate student at Universidade Catolica Portuguesa in Culture Studies with a research focus on the shocking visual image and its cultural influence. Through an interdisciplinary model, he is interested in the visual perception behind the screen, the relation it holds with its surroundings and the impact visual image has on identity.

Exhibition images courtesy of Fausto Ferreira

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