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Lisson Gallery is proud to present The Magi c of the State\, an exhibition and editorial project conceive d in collaboration with Beirut\, a new art initiative and exhibition space in Cairo\, Egypt. Curated by Silvia Sgualdini of Lisson Gallery\, in conjun ction with Jens Maier-Rothe and Sarah Rifky\, co-directors of Beirut\, the project defines an ambitious platform for artistic exchange by bringing a n umber of international artists to Cairo for the first time. It also present s an innovative model of collaboration between an independent space and com mercial gallery\, highlighting the different social and political contexts in which the two organizations operate.

The project is structured as two discrete yet interconnec ted exhibitions\, opening first in Cairo (3 March – 6 April) and then Londo n (27 March – 4 May). Different works by the same group of artists will be presented\, including new commissions\, performances and discursive platfor ms. The project will be accompanied by a publication featuring critical tex ts and artists contributions in English and Arabic. The Magic of the State takes its name from the book of the same title by anthropologist Michael Ta ussig. In this text\, Taussig conceives the modern State as configured thro ugh a theatre of spirit possession into the living body of society. Histori cally placed at the intersection of science\, religion and politics\, magic in its broadest sense is addressed within the context of the project: both secular magic and its connection to propaganda and mysticism with its clai m to access supernatural entities and powers.

The invited artists adopt magic as a filter to ques tion the increasingly intricate ways in which power manifests itself within given social\, economic and political structures. Ryan Gander presents the performance I had a Message from the Curator\, originally conceived for dO CUMENTA (13). Gander’s two newly commissioned Alchemy Boxes - sculptures ma de of common objects in which mysterious contents are sealed - alchemically connect the two exhibition spaces in Cairo and London. In Goldin+Senneby’s audio installation The Decapitation of Money\, economic geographer Angus C ameron draws a series of associations between Bataille's obsession with dec apitation as a release of energy and his understanding of sovereignty\, reg icide and economics\; the emergence of the Eurodollar in the 1950s and off- shore finance beyond the jurisdiction of the sovereign state.Magic’s coerci veness lies in its power to transform\, simultaneously holding together the desire to believe and the desire to doubt. Here\, politics and magic\, sta tecraft and stagecraft\, converge as performance. The exhibition at Beirut opens with Interpretation\, a performance by French artist Lili Reynaud-Dew ar. The work features iconic Glasgwegian club performer Mary Knox and Paris ian experimental musician Hendrik Hegray in a recitation of the visionary p olitical broadsheets of Sun Ra\, woven together with the emancipatory force of free jazz from Lili Renaud- Dewar's personal record collection.

At Lisson Gallery\, Liz Magic Laser\, (Armory Show Commissioned Artist 2013)\, performs for the first ti me Stand Behind Me\, a development from her acclaimed work The Digital Face . Referencing Francois Delsartre's 19th-Century studies in gestural express ion\, the performance reworks key oratorical moments from recent history to highlight the evolution of political speech. Lebanese artist Rana Hamadeh has created two new commissioned performances which explore the relationshi p between resistance and contagion by considering the plague in ancient Ath ens as an allegory for the 'Arab Spring'.

UK-based artists Anja Kirschner and David Panos' video installation Ultimate Substance examines the current Greek economic crisis by revisiting ancient myths and looking at how the introduction of coinage affected the emergence of abstract mathematical and philosophical knowledge . Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou presents a series of photographs selected from the Press and Information Office in Nicosia. The works excava te the rituals and ceremonies that underline the construction of a national narrative and the constitution of Cyprus as a modern nation state followin g independence from Britain.

At a time of uncharted and complex political transition in Egypt\, t he selected and newly-commissioned works question the legacy of outmoded sy stems of beliefs and mythological principles within the modern State\, poin ting to the slippage between the prescriptive intent and the idiosyncratic manifestations of stately power. They chart the potential of alternative ag gregations\, and explore the possibility of resistance by thinking laterall y and looking in unorthodox places.

About the artists
Ryan Gander was born in 1976 in Chester and lives and works between London and Suffolk. When looking for a definition of Ryan Gan der's work one has to surrender to its multifaceted nature and the apparent incongruity of its formal manifestations. Emblematic of his method of work ing is the lecture series Loose Associations\, begun in 2002\, for which th e artist weaves a web of facts and fictions\, mixing autobiographical anecd otes with shared cultural and art historical references. Perhaps\, each sin gle work could be best understood as a fragment surfacing from a complex na rrative\, a journey of false starts and meanderings. Underlying Gander's li nguistic and formal play are tactics of illusion and deception in which the viewer is complicit in fostering a multiplication of meanings.
www.frankandeunice.com

Goldin+Senneby is a framework for coll aboration set up by artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby since 2004. Simo n Goldin was born in 1981 and Jacob Senneby in 1971\, both in Sweden\, wher e they live and work. They explore juridical\, financial and spatial constr ucts through notions of the performative and the virtual. In their body of work known as Headless (2007 -)\, they approach the sphere of offshore fina nce\, and its production of virtual space through legal code. Looking at st rategies of withdrawal and secrecy\, they trace an offshore company on the Bahamas called Headless Ltd\, while a ghostwritten detective novel narrates their investigations. Since 2010 their work has focused on The Nordenskiöl d Model\, an experiment in theatrical finance\, in which they attempt to (r e)enact the anarcho-alchemical scheme of 18th-Century alchemist August Nord enskiöld on the financial markets of today.
www.goldinsenneby.com

Rana Hamadeh was born in 1983 in Beirut\, Lebanon\, and liv es and works in Enschede and Amsterdam. She works on extensive discursive r esearch projects that generally question the conditions of spectatorship as well as the boundaries\, authority and mechanisms of meaning production. B ringing together visual\, performative and theoretical frameworks\, Hamadeh constructs ever-growing constellations and networks of associative docu-fi ctive narratives that reflect upon linguistic\, discursive\, legal\, and ph ysical modes of violence along with its political and social articulations. She initiated in 2008 and 2011 two on-going artistic/curatorial projects\, GRAPHIS N ̊127 and Alien Encounters\, which comprise different levels of c ollaborations with other artists\, illegal immigrants\, writers\, civil ser vants\, house-wives\, and designers among others.
www.ranahamadeh.nl

Anja Kirschner was born in 1977 in Munich\, Germany and David Panos in 1971 in Athens\, Greece\, and they live in London and Athens . Working collaboratively since 2006\, Kirschner and Panos have been at the forefront of explorations into narrative form within recent artists’ film and video. Frequently drawing on literary and historical sources as a means of reflecting on the present\, their works collide film genre motifs and t heoretical discourses\, melodrama and digital effects to create a distincti ve filmiclanguage that subverts existing categories. Extending and challeng ing the tradition of Brechtian anti-naturalism\, their films explore the re lation of art and culture to political economy and power.

www.kirschner-panos.info

Liz Magic Laser was born in 1981 in New Y ork City\, where she lives and works. Her performances and videos intervene in semi-public spaces such as bank vestibules\, movie theatres and newsroo ms\, and have involved collaborations with actors\, dancers\, surgeons\, an d motorcycle gang members. She stages situations\, dialogues\, monologues o r plays in the urban environment\, and its population becomes both her audi ence and her extras in the resulting videos. Her recent work appropriates t he dominant performance techniques and psychological strategies used by the media and politicians to sway public opinion. Liz Magic Laser is her real name from birth.
www.lizmagi claser.com

Christodoul os Panayiotou was born in 1978 in Limassol\, Cyprus\, and lives and works i n Paris\, Berlin and Limassol. Christodoulos Panayiotou’s multidimensional work addresses issues and concerns ranging from the complex contemporary un derstanding of what constitutes “the public” to the construction of nationa l identity and history. He frequently takes ceremonies\, festivals\, and th eatrical spectacles as points of departure from which to explore the struct ures and customs that inform social experience. His process also engages th e archives of the press and regional and state agencies of his country\, Cy prus\, to reflect on how interpretations of a collective sense of identity are dependent on the manner in which images and information are arranged an d presented.
www.christodoul ospanayiotou.com

Lili Reynaud-Dewar was born in 1975 in La Rochelle\, France\, and lives and work s in Paris. Her relatively epic projects combine performance\, video\, scul pture and involve her friends\, her family and lately\, her own body. Confr onting her own biography and practice to the legacy of emblematic figures s uch as Josephine Baker\, Sun Ra\, and Jean Genet\, she seeks to disrupt the expectations related to her own background and her role as a contemporary artist. She is currently working on a series of videos involving her own bo dy - naked and blackened - dancing in various art spaces: a work in progres s\, with no planned ending\, that she considers a sort of fidgeting institu tional critique\, fuelled with vitality. She is the co-founder of Petunia a feminist art and entertainment magazine and writes regularly for various p ublications.About Lisson Gallery Established in 1967 by owner Nicholas Logs dail\, Lisson Gallery has maintained its unique profile and position as one of the world’s most innovative\, artist-led galleries\, always at the fore front of developments in Contemporary art.

Over the past forty five years Lisson Gallery has nurt ured the careers of no fewer than five Turner Prize winners and identified and supported successive generations of intellectually cutting-edge concept ual artists with radical and distinctive approaches to the artistic possibi lities of their times. This includes the pioneers of Minimal Conceptualism: Sol LeWitt\, Peter Joseph and Robert Mangold\; The New British Sculptors s uch as Tony Cragg\, Richard Deacon\, Anish Kapoor and Julian Opie\; and new er generations that include Marina Abramovic\, Allora &\; Calzadilla\, A i Weiwei\, and most recently Ryan Gander and Haroon Mirza.

About Beirut < br /> Beirut is a new art initiative and e xhibition space in Cairo that manifests a set of ideas grounded in the beli ef that change needs first to be imagined in order to be achieved. Thinking along these lines\, Beirut considers institution building as a curatorial act\, outside existing protocols that define The Institution of Art\, to pr ovide discursive frameworks for thinking and sharing social sentiments whic h acknowledge the politics of art as a space of work. Its seasonal program reflects exhibitions as spatial mindsets and as places of exchange between works of art\, questions/discourse\, voices\, accounts and people\, to simp ly look at what art does and not what it shows. Beirut’s offices\, studio\, library and exhibition spaces currently fill the rooms of a late 1940's th ree-story villa surrounded by a small garden\, located in the neighborhood of Agouza in Cairo.

DTEND:20130504 DTSTAMP:20140917T153534 DTSTART:20130327 GEO:51.5209651;-0.1695948 LOCATION:Lisson Gallery\,29 and 52-54 Bell Street \nLondon\, NW1 5DA SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Magic of the State\, Ryan Gander\, Rana Hamadeh\, Liz Magic Las er\, Christodoulos Panayiotou\, Anja Kirschner and David Panos\, Lili Reyna ud-Dewar\, Goldin + Senneby UID:261085 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:200000 DTSTAMP:20140917T153534 DTSTART:180000 GEO:51.5209651;-0.1695948 LOCATION:Lisson Gallery\,29 and 52-54 Bell Street \nLondon\, NW1 5DA SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Magic of the State\, Ryan Gander\, Rana Hamadeh\, Liz Magic Las er\, Christodoulos Panayiotou\, Anja Kirschner and David Panos\, Lili Reyna ud-Dewar\, Goldin + Senneby UID:265532 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR