Helene Kazan

Helene Kazan is a 2018-2020 Vera List Center Fellow, whose fellowship project is developed in response to the Vera List Center's focus theme If Art Is Politics. She and Dean Erdmann were selected from an international pool of over 220 applicants from 35 countries by an ad hoc fellowship committee of former fellows, New School faculty, and Vera List Center staff.

During her fellowship, Helene Kazan will explore how international legal justice might develop at the intersection of international law and the revolutionary potential of the poetic testimony of violence.

Building on the model of interdisciplinary practice that she established in the exhibition and public program Points of Contact in Lebanon in spring 2018, Kazan will create in collaboration with the community of The New School a multi-media and interdisciplinary exhibition and public programs platform to explore the potential of the legal agency of poetic testimony of violence, in support of reparative processes of international legal justice laws. In doing so, Kazan will raise questions central to the roles played by the curator, artist, exhibition space, or cultural institution, in regard to the registers of slow, structural and spectacular modes of enacting violence.

Helene Kazan's work engages an intersection of international law, architecture, and the physical experience of violence. Observed through the lived-built environment in Lebanon, Kazan distinguishes how violence can be traced through architecture as a material sensor of an evolving integrated limit condition of conflict and capitalism. Kazan questions the politics of dominant methods of producing evidence that can exclude or render the human body invisible and, in response, argues for the poetic testimony of violence, as a method by which the person can gain further political and legal agency.

Kazan is completing a PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, London. She recently curated the exhibition Points of Contact in Lebanon, and her work's been shown at documenta(14), The Serpentine Gallery, London, Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, Mosaic Rooms, London, Ibraaz, Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.