Dust and Bones

LUNCH HOUR at The David Ireland House

Featuring Curator Shehab Awad
Friday, May 14 at 12pm PDT

Join us online this Friday, May 14 at noon for The David Ireland House’s first LUNCH HOUR. Curator Shehab Awad leads this free, midday workshop titled “Dust and Bones” using the House’s dining room as a case study to approach problematic representation through specificity, questioning, listening, honoring, and remembering. 

Shehab Awad’s workshop will include research about essentialist, identity-based art criticism, personal discoveries, and a poem by the Haitian-born, queer icon Assotto Saint. 

The workshop is one hour: starting with a presentation, which runs for approximately 40 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of questions and discussion.

How can we develop clear language constructions around complex histories within the gazes of art and museology? Should we bury the bones of the skeletons in our closet or hang them up for everyone to see? 

Shehab Awad is an independent curator and writer from Cairo, Egypt currently based in New York City. He/she is Founding Director of Executive Care, an all-encompassing agency at the service of artists. Awad’s interests include artists’ books, cuteness, banality, hedonism, and the liberating potential of nightlife, sleep, recreational drugs, and chronic conditions. As a freelance curator, Awad’s projects highlight queer, marginalized, and undervalued practices. Recent projects include Happy tears (2020), a two-person exhibition presenting the sinister aspect of cuteness at 17Essex Gallery, NY through artworks by Ian Faden and Wayne Bruce Dean; A Body of Work (2019), a group exhibition exploring the body through textile at Jane Lombard Gallery, NY; Publishing Process (2018), a symposium about artists’ books and experimental publishing practices from the global south at Institute of Arab and Islamic Art, NY; Hiding in Plain Sight (2018), Syracuse University’s MFA graduate exhibition; and When the whites of the eyes are red (2017), a group exhibition about the conflation of sleep and death at Hessel Museum of Art; NY.

Publications include A Tardigrade’s Dream (2016), an illustrated, short story book about a batch of frozen tardigrades sent to outer space published by Nile Sunset Annex, EG; The Symbol That Must Not Be Named about the Raba’a Square Massacre in Branded Protest (X-SITE: 2020); The People Who Hold The Wall about laziness as a form of political resistance in Sara Enrico: The Jumpsuit Theme (NERO: 2021); and various writing in periodicals such as The Brooklyn RailArtAsiaPacificArt Papers, and Madamasr—Egypt’s leading independent news source. Awad has held curatorial positions at Townhouse, Cairo; Institute of Arab and Islamic Art, NY; and most recently, Participant Inc, NY. He/she holds an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. In Summer 2021, Awad looks forward to curating Bard’s MFA graduate exhibition and launching Executive Care with multidisciplinary artist Keioui Keijaun Thomas’ first long-form solo exhibition at Participant Inc, NY. 

LUNCH HOUR at The David Ireland House is a program created to support the collective endeavor of the House’s staff to question their positions in the artistic field through creative and discursive means. LUNCH HOUR aims to strengthen The David Ireland House staff’s roles as art mediators in the ever-evolving landscape of creating narratives for art-making. The program invites curators, archivists, artists, and specialists for skill-generating workshops extended to the general public in the Bay Area and beyond.