Conférence Internationale: L'action d'Art

Conférence Internationale : L’action d’Art

En partenariat avec le Musée Sursock
Concept : Paola Yacoub Michel Lasserre
Vendredi 15 et Samedi 16 Avril, 16h à 20h
Auditorium, Niveau -2
En Anglais et Français
Entrée gratuite 

A century ago, the journal L’action d’art (The Action of Art) was founded by Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers, a professor, publisher, curator and anarchist.1 The L’action d’art formula remains problematic to this day – how to understand action in art. 

Action is, by definition, intelligible. What can be said for its place in artistic practices, performance, musical improvisation, documentary processes, and activism? What can works addressing action in artistic practices reveal to us? Currently, the notion of action is approached first and foremost through the recurring debate between intentionalists and their opponents. However, this debate focuses particularly on the norms for interpreting works of art. And yet, L’action d’art cannot subscribe to both camps, to intention and to interpretation. One is therefore led to wonder whether current acts might not contribute to a renewal of L’action d’art, particularly through the re-questioning of conventional genres and formats for activism, actionism, performance, and through interactions with other fields beyond the artistic, such as economy and law.

This symposium intends to take up once more the question of L’action d’art at the crossroads of works that touch on the very structure of action.

1. The anarchist journal L’action d’art was founded in 1913, 17 issues were published (from 15 February to 15 November). Collaborators: Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers, the painter Atl, Lucien Banville d'Hostel, André Colomer, Paul Dermée, René Dessambre, Manuel Devaldès, Tewfik Fahmy, Paul Maubel.

Symposium Schedule

About the lecturers


Gregory Buchakjian is a Beirut based art historian and photographer. Faculty at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), his research evolves around modern and contemporary Lebanese and Arab art. He is PhD candidate at Université Paris IV Sorbonne for a dissertation entitled: Abandoned Dwellings in Beirut. Wars and Transformation of the Urban Space. 1860-2015.


Isabelle de le Court is an art historian and lecturer at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). She completed her doctorate in History of Art at the University of Leeds on art and conflict in 2012. Her monograph Post-Traumatic Art in the City: Between War and Cultural Memory in Sarajevo and Beirut is forthcoming.


Daniel Blanga-Gubbay is Professor at the Académie royale des Beaux Arts in Brussels and a researcher in political philosophy of the arts. He collaborates with the Kunstenfestivaldesarts and is the initiator of Aleppo, a Brussels-based independent research space in art and political theory creating every season a free and temporary Imaginary Schools around a specific topic. He graduated in philosophy from the Venice University of Architecture with Giorgio Agamben, and got a European Ph.D, jointly run by the University of Palermo, Valencia and Freie Unversität Berlin, working on the political use and evolution of the concept of the possible.


Angela Harutyunyan  is Associate Professor of Art History and Theory at the American University of Beirut. She is editor of ARTMargins, a journal published by MIT Press. Her book titled The Political Aesthetics of the Armenian Avantgarde: The journey of the 'painterly real' is forthcoming with Manchester University Press in 2016.


Alia Hamdan studied contemporary dance, urbanism and philosophy in Paris and Montpellier. From 2005 to 2010, she returns to Beirut and works in the field of urban research, punctually engaging in various performance projects. Since  2012, she pursues a PhD in Esthetics at Paris 8 university and teaches various courses at ALBA university (Beirut). In her artistic practice, Alia explores the encounter of choreography and visual arts. Her performance Someday (BIPOD, 2011) designed a film for the stage, a film that connects to performed gestures. In 2015, she participates in Retrospective by Xavier Le Roy (BAC, Beirut). Recently, she completed a choreographic movie in the context of the Art and Archive residency (Beirut/Cologne).


Christian Kobald is a curator, editor at Spike Art Quarterly, and runs the non-profit exhibition space Yvonne Lambert in Berlin. He studied philosophy at the University of Vienna and the history of art, culture and ideas at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, where he also teaches in the fine arts program. 


Antoine Moreau is an artist, initiator of Copyleft Attitude and co-writer of the Free Art License. Lecturer at the University of Franche-Comté, department Multimedia M2I, Laboratory ELLIADD, head of the program Links between the arts and the digital.


Hans Muller is chair of the Department of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut since 2013, where he has been teaching philosophy since 2004. He taught at Ithaca College, New York, U.S.A from 2002 to 2004. He received his MA (1996) and his PhD (2003) in philosophy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and U.S.A. His research is focused on the philosophy of mind with an emphasis on the emotions.  He has also published articles on action theory.  He teaches courses in those areas as well as in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of cognitive science, history of modern philosophy, and applied ethics.


Maxi Obexer is a writer, playwrite, founder of the new institut for dramatic writing. Since becoming a fellow of the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB) at the age of 23, Maxi Obexer has been living in Berlin. In addition to her creative work, she regularly writes reviews and essays for newspapers and anthologies and was responsible for the literature section of the weekly magazine Freitag for several years. In 2014, she founded the Neue Institut für Dramatisches Schreiben. Currently she is a guest professor at Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig. Obexer is known for her political plays, audio plays, and essays. A main focus of her work is the condition of migrants and refugees, e.g. in her play Geisterschiff (Ghostship), which deals with a refugee catastrophe in the Mediterranean Sea. In her work Illegale Helfer (Illegal Aides) she addresses Europeans who move in the grey zone of legality, supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and other persons without a legal status. Obexer studied comparative literature, philosophy and theater studies in Vienna, Austria, and Berlin. She received numerous fellowships and awards and was previously a Max Kade guest lecturer at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Sara Ramshaw is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter, School of Law. After receiving her B.A. (Honours) (With Distinction) from the University of Toronto, Sara obtained both a LLB and a LLM from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She then clerked at the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) and was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2000. Sara worked as a Research Lawyer at the Superior Court of Justice, Family Court in Toronto, Ontario before commencing postgraduate studies at Birkbeck School of Law in London, England. Sara’s doctoral thesis, completed in 2007, examined the legal regulation of jazz musicians in New York City (1940-1967) through the lens of post structural theory informed by feminism, critical race theory and critical improvisation studies. During the 2008-9 academic year, Sara was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP) project in Montreal, Canada. Her monograph Justice as Improvisation: The Law of the Extempore was published by Routledge in 2013. Sara was the principal investigator of a large UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, entitled Into the Key of Law: Transposing Musical Improvisation. The Case of Child Protection in Northern Ireland.


Jean-Michel Roy joined the Philosophy Department of Lyon ENS in 2000. He previously taught at the University of Bordeaux and the Ulm Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris, where he also studied. His philosophy PHD was completed at the Paris-I Sorbonne University and he also holds a Master degree in Linguistics from Paris VII University. His early career includes an extended post-doctoral stay in the US with a variety of affiliations with Harvard University, MIT and Wellesley College. His fields of specialization are Twentieth Century philosophy of knowledge and philosophy of Cognitive Science, two areas that he teaches and actively researches at the Lyon ENS. His most recent book was published in September 2010 under the title: Rhin et Danube: Essais sur le schisme analytico-phénoménologique (Vrin, Paris). Jean Michel Roy’s work also deals with the relation of Cognitive science and philosophy with art theory. His latest publication in this area is: Triangulating Morris' Intention? Davidson on Morris Quoting Davidson in Investigations : the Expanded Field of Writing in the Works of Robert Morris, edited by Katia Schneller, Noura Wedell, ENS Éditions, 2015.


Visual artists Paola Yacoub and Michel Lasserre have been collaborators since 2000. Their works have been exhibited at Kunst‐Werke, Berlin (2000); the Venice (2003), Busan (2004) and Gwangju (2006) biennales; Plateau, Paris (2002); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2003); Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China (2008). They have given lecture-performances at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2006); Beirut Art Center (2011); as part of the seminar Something You Should Know, EHESS Paris (2012); Travelling Féministe, Paris (2013). They have been the recipients of several grants, including from DAAD, Berlin, in 2005. Their lectures have been collected in the monograph Beirut is a Magnificient City: Synoptic Pictures., published by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2003). Their first joint works focused on a critical interpretation of perceptions of territories in conflict zones. They are currently working on the notion of action, and restoring varied techniques of dramatization to the field of visual arts. Paola Yacoub is director of the Artistic Research Practices program at ALBA, Beirut. 

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