Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I have always wanted to be cremated after my death, which is forbidden in Lebanon, since all monotheistic religions refuse cremation and practice interring. This problem is not only due to a certain conservative religious social mentality, but also to Lebanese laws and to the Constitution of the Lebanese State, which does not recognize us as citizens having rights outside our religious communities. We are thus forced to observe religious laws in matters relating to personal statutes (marriage, inheritance, divorce, custody of children, burial, etc).

This problem or story, dull in itself and extremely personal, holds the merit of calling attention to one of the contradictions of the Lebanese State: Is Lebanon a constitutional State based on institutions supposed to guarantee and preserve the law, freedom of expression, of labor, of trade etc… following a liberal and modernist model - as we are repeatedly and incessantly told and promised – or is the State ruled by local religious community forces which stand between the State and the citizen, as is allowed by the Constitution itself, and thus preventing the establishment of a real State of law? This contradiction is no dull and brings about many a bloody conflict.

I have long thought of the best way to evade religious law as ratified by state law. For this, I have been inspired by the work of Piero Manzoni who signs human bodies or body parts, thus constituting them, in the act of signing and seeing, into artworks. I am inviting you to contribute to my project, which consists in the transformation of my body into a collection of art pieces duly signed by different international artists.

But this is only the first part of the project, entitled: Lina Saneh Body Studio.

Later, my body-collection-of-art-pieces will be presented to galleries, museums, and collectors, who might be interested to buy these pieces of art, the only condition being that they will not be receiving these artworks/parts-of-my-body before I die, at which point my body will be cut up and sent to its new owners. They are then free to exhibit the artworks/parts-of-my-body, after my death, or refrain from doing so. They are also free to sell them again (this is possible during my lifetime), however they are contractually bound to preserving them, and if not, to cremate them. The ashes can then be exhibited or sold as art pieces, or even disposed of, no one being held to preserving them any longer.

For the sake of this project, I am calling for signatures from artists who wish to participate in the construction of Lina Saneh’s Body Studio.
If you are a visual artist or art theorist and wish to choose a part of Lina Saneh’s body and sign it into one of your own works of art, you can then contact Lina Saneh on :, and specify the part you wish to sign.

For the purposes of this collaboration, a brief text of 3 to 5 lines is required from you, related to the piece you wish to sign. This text, will be published on this site, along with your signature and your chosen piece.

Once the piece of body is signed by you, Lina Saneh will cordially accept it as a donation or present on your behalf, and you, as an artist, will have no rights over this piece unless she decides to sell it. In that case, your shares will constitute 65% of the total fee paid for the work.

There are no restrictions on choices or divisions of the body parts, however no changes to the parts are allowed. You must choose and define the part you wish to sign without any alterations to the nature of the part.

We are looking forward to hear from you,
Body Studio project will be part of Lina Saneh’s new performance Appendice, which will be first shown in Beirut, Lebanon on the 21st and 22nd of April, 2007. This performance is presented by the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Ashkal Alwan.
Appendice will be also presented in September at the Schouwburg Theater in Rotterdam and at Le Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel, and in October at the Festival d’Automne in Paris.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Otolith Group

The Otolith Group would like to take your heart
Two things come to mind here :
1) The tragic story of Saartje Baartman, and the French racist anthropological tyranny that she was subjected to -
2) The poet Shelley whose heart refused to burn when he was cremated

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jalal Toufic

Black Holes Radiate Lovingly

Lina Saneh asked me, as well as other artists, to sign one of her body parts. I, who is not only an artist but also a writer and thinker who neither curses nor uses unseemly language, have chosen to sign the phallus implied jointly by her play Appendix and her oft-repeated exclamation ayrî fîk (I thrust my penis in you/my penis is inside you) when addressed to her husband, Rabih Mroué.

Click on the pictures to read the full text.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jacko Restikian

Je n'ai pas vu ta performance puisque je suis à Montréal. Ça fait quelques années que je collectionne des cheveux. Je ne prendrai pas les tiennes pour la seul raison quand nos cheveux sont attachés à notre corps on les aime, les accepte et les esthétise, quand ils quittent notre peau ils traversent la beauté vers le dégoût. Bon je sais que tes cheveux sont frisés alors contiennent pas mal d'espace vide! Je prendrai l'air inter cheveux ou bien l'air au pourtour de ta tête.

Jacko Restikian


My name is Lina and I would love to sign one of your ears, votre oreille droite si vous êtes gauchère, ou alors la gauche si c'est l'inverse. J'aime bien l'aspect incontrôlé de l'audition, et je le devine renforcé dans ce cas... I've always thought that if I had to choose, the sense I would least mind loosing is that of hearing. An ear detached doesn't hear, but becomes a surface for a signature, and also a potential slate for letters and words to slide into visually.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Lamia Joreige

J'ai choisi ta bouche comme oeuvre artistique, alors je signe ta bouche; cela comprend l'idée de bouche et les parties qui la constituent, c'est à dire tes lèvres. Sans raison apparente, je sens que ta bouche plus qu'autre chose dans ton visage, exprime au mieux ta personnalité. C'est à travers un mouvement unique et indescriptible, proche de la grimace, que ta bouche dit le dégout, la lassitude, et même l'agacement, et plein d'autres choses encore...

Critical Art Ensemble

We would like chromosome set 23. It is the chromosome of gender expression. While it is supposed to be a biological mechanism of either/or consequence, it's final manifestation is often not so clear. It is yet another site where flesh, desire, and culture clash.