That Those Beings Be Not Being

22 October – 28 November

Guy Briller, Salim Bayri, EMIRHAKIN, Karam Natour, PHILTH HAUS, Chris Kore, Sarah Naqvi, Veronika Babayan, Müge Yılmaz, Ludmila Rodrigues, Marly Pierre-Louis, Tracian Meikle, and Tobi Balogun, Philipp Gufler, Hilda Moucharrafieh and Dina Mohamed, Fabulous Future, Foundland Collective, Hwang Kim

OPENING: 22 october | 19 – 24h
Performances by Sarah Naqvi and EMIRHAKIN

Our contemporary moment is saturated with the politics of polarisation and dichotomist thinking—with us- or -against us-, liberal or conservative, right or wrong, all-or-nothing. ​Binary thinking often happens when complex ideas and issues are overly simplified into twofold answers. When instead of embracing multiplicity, we are bound into thinking about, and within, fixed categories that don’t evolve over time or adapt themselves to our constantly changing liquid environments.

This tendency of binary thinking has been affecting societies and structures worldwide, across social, political, economic, and ecological lines. The repercussions of dichotomy have become more critical with the accelerated globalised mobility in recent decades, all while the social fabric is being rendered more mixed and heterogeneous. But how are our environments really affected by the politics and tendencies of polarization? What are the strategies necessary for humans and ecosystems to coexist in the shared spaces that we inhabit?

This exhibition and public program brings into dialogue local and international artists who challenge us to move beyond the trappings of binary thinking, into intervening, overlapping, and intersecting spaces—the inbetween, the not-yet-here, the becoming. Working with video, print, sculpture, performance, and interactive environments, their works engage questions around polyvocality and the socio-political complexities of their environment through humour, storytelling, discourse, and the creation of alter egos and fictional spaces.

The title ‘That Those Beings Be Not Being’ is taken from a chapter in Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation, in which he argues that “we must clamor for the right to opacity for everyone”. For Glissant, ‘opacity’ is an unknowability—an alterity that is unquantifiable, a diversity that exceeds categories of identifiable difference and resists hypervisibility and the drive for total vision.

He says: I am from there, I am from here,

but I am neither there nor here.

I have two names which meet and part…

I have two languages, but I have long forgotten

which is the language of my dreams.

*Mahmoud Darwish

Support us


23, 24, 30, 31, October & 6, 7, 13, 14 November | 14 – 17.15h
Tracing Erased Memories | video walk performance
Hilda Moucharrafieh and Dina A.Mohamed
More info and reservation

24 October | 13 – 19h
8.8 kilometers – A walk from W139 to Four Sisters | guided walk
Müge Yilmaz
More info and reservation

28 & 30 October & 5, 12, 14, 28 November | 18 – 19h
More info and reservation

28 October | 19.30 – 21h
The Alter Ego | conversation 
Karam Natour, Salim Bayri and PHILTH HAUS.
Moderated by: Margarita Osipian and Fadwa Naamna
More info and reservation

13 November
Pastegh – Fruit Leather and Undulating Storytelling | workshop
Veronika Babayan

17 November
Real-time History | screening and talk
Lauren Alexander, Ghalia Elsrakbi, and Hanna Rullmann of Foundland Collective.
Moderated by: Margarita Osipian and Fadwa Naamna 

26 November
Pizzas for the People | Film screening and pizza dinner
Hwang Kim

28 November
When a name is laid to rest by force, where lies its burial ground? | performance
Sarah Naqvi


That Those Beings Be Not Being
group show
22 Oktober – 28 November

Art Bazaar
In collaboration with Farida Sedoc
10 – 19  December

DIWAN talks: Residence Permit for Self-employed Artists

Tuesday October 12, 2021
16:00 – 17:30 CEST
On Zoom