The Ninth Page: Etel Adnan's Journalism 1972-74

Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at CCA and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Edited by Julian Myers-Szupinska and Heidi Rabben Designed by Jon Sueda, 2013
Paperback, 128 pages


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Published to accompany the exhibition Words and Places Etel Adnan, The Ninth Page: Etel Adnan's Journalism 1972-74 , collects and translates articles written by Adnan during the early 1970s for the Beirut-based francophone newspaper Al-Safa. In addition to the articles, the publication includes a Foreword by Leigh Markopoulos, an introductory essay by Simone Fattal, an interview with Adnan by Jesi Khadivi and Heidi Rabben, and a newly commissioned essay by Andrew Weiner, all responding to Adnanʼs journalism and its fraught sociopolitical context. It also includes a copy of the exhibition guide with writing on the exhibition by Antonia Marsh and on Adnan's writing by Rebecca Roy.

The articles selected for The Ninth Page challenge preconceptions about Beirut's political climate in this moment while also offering up a portrait of an entire cosmopolitan, international worldview that is social and cultural as often as it is political. The diverse subjects Adnan covers document the rich cultural scene of Beirut on the brink of civil war, a political cataclysm addressed with great force later in Adnanʼs landmark books Sitt Marie Rose (1978) and The Arab Apocalypse (1980). By focusing on her time as a journalist, The Ninth Page fills a discursive gap in the chronicling of Adnan's written history, enriching her painting and writing practices. Images of the original newspaper articles are also projected in the exhibition space.

Words and Places: Etel Adnan is the first large-scale institutional exhibition of work by the Lebanese writer, poet, and painter Etel Adnan, spanning six decades of her artistic practice. Born in Beirut in 1925 to a Christian Greek mother and a Muslim Syrian father, Adnan has spent her life between places––Beirut, Paris, and the Bay Area––negotiating their different cultures and languages, as well as her distinctive position among them. This experience of displacement deeply informs her work, which similarly ranges between mediums and formats

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