Video Art Channel: The Reading by Adelita Husni Bey (2017)

Friday, June 15 from 6pm – 8pm
Saturday, Juni 16 from 6.30pm – 8.30pm
during the Video Art Channel

The video installation The Reading / La Seduta (2017) is the result of a workshop in the form of an unscripted tarot reading. In preparation for the tarot reading session Hannah Black, Evan Calder Williams, Julian Noisecat and Elizabeth A. Povinelli were invited to elaborate, in dialogue with the participants Gus Moran, Nia Nottage, Farhan Islam, Nudrat Mahajabin, Katya Dokurova, Charlotte Lewis, Sandra Wazaz, Shao Lei, Amir Akram, Amanata Williams, on the 10 major arcana drawn by Husni-Bey: Extraction, Soil, The Ongoing End, Dirt, Vulnerability, Value, The Colony, Abstract Threat, Simulation, Real Threat. These themes were chosen by the artist through the course of her research on the question of Standing Rock, the indigenous protest against the laying of the Dakota Access Pipeline north of the Standing Rock Reservation, carrying crude oil under the Missouri River, but also reflect on larger issues, such as the permeability of borders, simulation and the function of different perceptions of threat. Tarot reading is re-intepreted here as a pedagogical practice, where the reader and the participants collectively craft a narrative to understand, analyse and overcome the obstacles presented to them by their question, either be driven by market forces or by a shared notion of protection and reparation which will have to account for the uneven distribution of the fallout from climate change.

Adelita Husni-Bey (Italy 1985) lives in New York. She stages workshops and produces publications, radio broadcasts, archives and exhibitions focused on using collectivist and non-competitive pedagogical models within the framework of urban studies. In her 10 years practicing as both an artist and a pedagogue Adelita has worked with activists, architects, jurists, schoolchildren, spoken word poets, students and teachers on unpacking the complexity of collectivity.

Sound of the video: In the background of the conversation is spherical music which conveys a spiritual, almost cosmic atmosphere, like being in outer space, but also containing elements of nature, e.g. water flowing and waves reaching the shore, as well as bells, sounding bowls, vibrating strings.

Transcription of conversation (by Jule Gießler):

Circles must place the forces above
the forces below
this is how we see ourselves
the kind of conditions we are in
how others see us
this is the hopes and fears
and then our outcome call

It looks close off to me. Like I feel like they wanna go there but they can’t cause I think like off it as a bandaid on a hole or something like that, so they trying to enter this place but it’s shut off.

You see like a line of like people and then something that looks like barbed wire to me, so there is like hundreds

It’s weird how the people fade off as they get towards this three layered abyss.

You see that as a sky?


I see it as a sky too

For the full transcription download pdf: Transcription_The Reading
with further recommendations by Corinna Brenner /