Art on 56th: Carla Barchini Revives Beirut’s Scars

Lebanese-Swiss artist Carla Barchini revives Beirut’s scars, and celebrates both its pain and resilience at Art on 56th. The show, Beirut ∞, which will run until March 2, is an homage to her country.


The exhibition depicts the transient identity of the Lebanese capital, which, like the phoenix, has risen from its ashes seven times. Its continual unravelling and rebirth has issued layers of history, culture and heritage, which are precious resources for Barchini’ s artistic endeavour.

Under the patronage of the Swiss Embassy, Beirut ∞, is the second solo-show of works by Barchini. The title of the exhibition contains the number ‘8’, featured sideways to indicate the infinity symbol.

The city of Beirut thus alludes to a continuum, a place where the only constant is change. It is a land of diversity, contradiction and chaos; it is the Beirut that stands today and in which Barchini lives. Its identity is ephemeral, and can only be understood by examining its numerous tiers.

Simultaneously, she underlines the quiet pride of the city’s strength by paying tribute to its everlasting will to survive. Although she evokes uneasiness surrounding the reminder of past hostility, she equally asserts the hope that Beirut today will continue to prevail, as it has always done.

By portraying its layers in a post-war era, she honors its renaissance, invites its re-discovery and cherishes its bittersweet memories, which are all amalgams of its versatile identity.

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