23 Apr 12

100 Notizen – 100 Gedanken / 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, presentation of dOCUMENTA (13) notebooks. Beirut, April 24, 2012, 8 pm

100 Notes – 100 Thoughts. Now available: The fourth round of 30 notebooks in both printed and e-book editions.

II. documenta, 1959, installation view with works by Julio González, photographer unknown. Bequest of Arnold Bode, courtesy of documenta Archiv, Kassel

A note is a way to eventuate writing.

When a function, such as writing, is liberated from an old duty, it invents—and when language is transformed, all is transformed.

One does not read a note. One sees the note, as one sees any other living creature. Like grass, or a tree, or dogs, or birds or fish, flies or gnats. But one also sees a note as one may see a stone, sediments or a rock, or a desert or a mountain or the little plants that grow through the tiny cracks of broken pieces of mortar or concrete in houses in some cities. Notes contest the monotonous nature of the written text, of the constructed discourse, introducing playful syncopations and ataxic hoquets into the text, because they constitute a polyphony of rhythms inextricably jumbled together allowing tone cadences to proliferate. How far can a note—one hundred thoughts in the form of notes—push this drift of theory practices away from the classic rules of analysis and text composition?

The notes contest the jurisprudent effort made by written forms, the tendency of written forms to repress the pleasure of an idea resonating, the audacious gestures and leaps of the multiple story tellers.

The question all these notes have in common, and in common with the works present in dOCUMENTA (13), could be formulated thus: “what, and how, do we think when we know?”, rather than “what do we know when we think?”

After the notes, come the artworks. Our speech ends here, now it is for others to take their turn, and—whether on stage, on retreat, under siege, or in a state of hope—to tell us other stories, other commitments, other embodiments, when notes and intentions become artworks.

dOCUMENTA (13) Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Head of Department, Member of Core Agent Group Chus Martínez will introduce the series 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut. This is the ninth public presentation of the dOCUMENTA (13) 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts series, following a premiere in Cairo in April 2011, and presentations in New York, Buenos Aires, Thessaloniki, Paris, Oslo, London, and Mumbai. After this presentation, there will be a conversation on the politics of writing with notebook author Salah M. Hassan.

Salah M. Hassan is Director of the Africana Studies and Research Center and of the Institute for Comparative Modernities, and Goldwin Smith Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University. Hassan is a curator and has authored several books including Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan (2009) and Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008). A member of the dOCUMENTA (13) advisory group, Hassan is the author of notebook no. 091 in the 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts series, How to Liberate Marx from His Eurocentrism: Notes on African/Black Marxism.

Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, is a non-profit organization based in Beirut, Lebanon and directed by Christine Tohme. Since its inception in 1994, the association has committed itself to the production, facilitation and circulation of artistic practices. Ashkal Alwan is located in Jisr el Wati, Street 90, Building 110, 1st Floor, Beirut 2066 8421, Lebanon. Directions: facing IMPEX; next to Beirut Art Center; near Souk Al Ahad (Sunday market).

The notebooks appear in three different formats (A6, A5, B5) and range from 16 to 48 pages in length. Contributors hail from diverse fields – art, science, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, political theory, literature, and poetry. The fourth round of notebook authors include Vyacheslav Akhunov and Leeza Ahmady, Nanni Balestrini, Hrach Bayadyan, Bruno Bosteels, Judith Butler, Critical Art Ensemble, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Lydia Davis, Durs Grünbein, Michael Hardt, Graham Harman, Alanna Heiss, Brian Holmes, Furio Jesi and Andrea Cavaletti, Christian Kuhtz, Dinh Q. Lê with Huynh Phuong Dong, Nguyen Thu, Quang Tho, Le Lam, Vu Giang Huong, Duong Anh, and Truong Hieu, Jolyon Leslie, David Levi Strauss and Joseph Beuys, Mark Lombardi, Raimundas Malašauskas and Ruth Robbins, W. J. T. Mitchell, Claire Pentecost, Pascal Rousseau, Hannah Ryggen and Marta Kuzma, Song Dong, Rosemarie Trockel, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Eyal Weizman, and Anton Zeilinger.


Commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13) Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev together with Head of Department, Member of Core Agent Group Chus Martínez, this series is edited by Head of Publications, Bettina Funcke. The 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts series has been launched at various places and in various moments, each accompanied by a discussion on the nature and the aim of this publishing project. You can acquire individual notebooks or subscribe to the entire series of 100 notebooks in both printed and e-book editions at