On The Table: Jon Rubin & Habibullah Sorosh

July 13, 2022
Event Types
Public Program

This series will include screen reader enabled PDFs. 

For more information, contact:

eagarner [at] mit.edu (eagarner[at]mit[dot]edu)

For the third iteration of On The Table, interdisciplinary artist Jon Rubin and scholar, screenwriter and playwright Habibullah Sorosh collaborate to create A Dinner, A Movie and A Book

For Habibullah Sorosh, who recently left Afghanistan, films evoke a web of memories and experiences much like meals do for all of us today. To expand on the discussions presented in this series of what is on the table when considering a shared meal today, Rubin and Sorosh will collaborate together to create a dinner and a movie experience for participants. For this iteration, you will receive a list of movies to select from, and a menu for an Afghan meal commonly eaten in Habib’s home. The movie titles provided, part of hundreds of films that Habib had to destroy after the U.S. withdrawal and the rise of the Taliban, will be accompanied by a stories that reflect upon how the films uniquely intersected with Habib’s life and teaching.

A Dinner, A Movie and A Book is the start of a participatory archival project that rebuilds Habib’s DVD collection along with the development of a book that delves into each film as a portal into a life of study and teaching in Afghanistan. 

About the Artists

Jon Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions into public life that re-imagine individual, group and institutional behavior. He has exhibited at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; the Shanghai Biennial; the Carnegie International, The Lyon Biennale; as well as in backyards, in living rooms, and on street corners. Conflict Kitchen, his collaborative seven-year work with artist Dawn Weleski, was named as one of the 100 artworks that defined the decade by Artnet News. He recently collaborated with Iranian artist and curator Sohrab Kashani on a Creative Capital funded project tiled The Other Apartment. Jon is a Professor and Graduate Director in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.

Habibullah Sorosh is a scholar, screenwriter and playwright whose research includes the history of Afghan cinema, the structural effects of absurdist dramas, and Kazakh historical genre films. Born in the Jaghori district, Ghazni province of Afghanistan Habib received his Bachelor of Cinema and Theater from the Department of Fine Arts at Kabul University and Master of Art Criticism at Kazakh National Academy of Arts. For the past ten years Habib has been a professor at Kabul University in the Department of Fine Arts and Dramatic Literature. He is currently a Visiting Researcher in the Schools of Drama and Art at Carnegie Mellon University where he is researching the fields of theatre, cinema and art theory.

On The Table

Our remote summer series, On The Table will present six artist-designed ‘menus’ to respond to what is 'on the table' when it comes to sharing a meal today. On The Table is organized by Emily A. Garner, Senior Manager, Campus and Public Programs, MIT List Visual Arts Center. Artists creating the series’ prompts include: Lexie Smith, Seitu Ken Jones, Jon Rubin & Habibullah Sorosh, Lexa Walsh, Asunción Molinos Gordo, and TJ Shin.

These menus are driven by current politics surrounding food access and sustainability while considering historical precedents of artists who have made art through communal meals. While some artist-designed menus may provide dinner party instructions or recipes to prepare, others will be imaginative prompts that invite creative interpretation. 

A new iteration of On The Table will be released on the List Center website every other Wednesday, from June 15 to August 25, 2022. Participants are invited to engage with the programs asynchronously throughout the season. Artist-designed prompts can be experienced anywhere and anytime. Visit the program page to learn more about the series.