Unwritten Handbook: Helene Kazan in conversation with Rania Stephan

Imperiled House, a lecture performance on sites of destruction and construction in the city

Serpentine Sackler Gallery

6 Apr 2017 - 7:00 PM

Unwritten Handbook: Helene Kazan in conversation with Rania Stephan

Free, booking required

Helene Kazan begins her residency with Serpentine Galleries Projects with lecture performance ‘Imperiled House'. The residency, which takes place through a series of walks and reading groups, outlines the ongoing need for investigation into the structural violence that affects the urban fabric of Beirut, as a condition historically connected to the evolving state of London.

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To book a place, please contact Projects Curator Amal Khalaf on amalk@serpentinegalleries.org 

The lecture performance will be followed by a conversation with artist and filmmaker, Rania Stephan, who was in residence with the Serpentine's Edgware Road Project in 2010. ‘Imperiled House’ confronts the many sites of destruction and construction in the city, and traces the evolution of these lived conditions, as they forcibly take effect across the built environment. Consolidating a history of structural violence inflicted on the city through aerial bombardment, and real estate development, Kazan reinstates the link between the destructive nature of conflict, and capitalist ideals for profit-making. Demonstrating the further development of these (de)constructive conditions through the ongoing planning and materialisation of the city. 

Throughout her residency at the Serpentine Galleries, Helene Kazan will narrate a largely undocumented and missing historical narrative describing the effects of the Second World War in Lebanon and Syria. By tracing and reinstating a historical relationship between London and Beirut, Kazan will map a spatial progression towards the denial of rights to the city, as a flimsy (de)constructed reflection of social, political and economic constraints.

The truthful narration of the little known events that affected Lebanon and Syria during the Second World War will come through research into the archive of General Spears, the first British Minister of Lebanon and Syria. Spears’s archive documents the 1941 Allied invasion of Lebanon and Syria and the further two years of negotiations over power and control, through the reconstruction of these developing nation states. Kazan will present a complex of material, as a site of knowledge production and discussion, to provoke questions on the potential intervention, disruption or resistance of this seemingly uncontrollable material progression of our lived environment. 

The lecture performance, ‘Imperiled House’ marks the beginning of Helene Kazan's residency, where she will lead a series of walks and workshops: 

Session 1 - The Nation State: Thursday 20 April 5pm 
At the Bomber Command Memorial

Session 2 - The House: Thursday 27 April 5pm 
Under Marble Arch 

Session 3 - The Body: Friday 5 May, 5pm 
The Carpenters Arms

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Imperiled House, a lecture performance on sites of destruction and construction in the city

Helene Kazan - Accident and Design: 002

Helene Kazan

Accident and Design: 002

Montaged image of a cargo ship in the Port of Beirut in 1930, and a protest to stop a luxury development project on Ramlet El Bayda, Beirut in 2017

Helene Kazan - Archive 1

Helene Kazan - Archive 1

Helene Kazan's Archive

Helene Kazan - Archive 2

Helene Kazan's Archive 2

2017
Helene Kazan - Archive 3

Helene Kazan - Archive 3

Helene Kazan's Archive