Beirut Art Fair 2018: Creating Dialogue Between Generations Through Photography

This coming edition of Beirut Art Fair (BAF) is having a special focus on a referenced exhibition, dedicated to modern and contemporary Lebanese photography, from 1900 to the present day. This show highlights for the first time Lebanon’s unique photographic heritage, and includes more than 100 art works from some 30 Lebanese private and public collections. Across Boundaries, part of 9th edition of BAF, is an exceptional event creating a dialogue between generations of artists.

Manoug Alemian, Bacchus Temple at night, 1963, Photographic Collections of the Archives and Special Collections, AUB Libraries

“Across Boundaries”  is going to explore 3 themes, with the focus on creating and encouraging a conversation, inviting visitors to not only discover the heritage of Lebanese photography, but to ask questions about themselves as they do so.

Randa Mirza, Live up to your true nation, Beirutopia, 2013, Pigment ink on Baryte paper, 80 cm x 110 cm, Courtesy Randa Mirza, Private Collection

The first theme of Territory has landscape in the broadest sense at its center, depicted by magnifi­cent works from Manoug Alémian and Roland Sidawy alongside others, showcasing a more contem­porary approach by Nadim Asfar, Randa Mirza and Tanya Traboulsi. Visitors will find a rich variety of interpretations of the theme, in which the landscape is transformed by the photographer into a universal territory or an intimate one.

Centered on Documents, the second theme explores Lebanon’s history. Photojournalists from 1975 to 1990, alongside visual artists, such as Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Walid Raad, Akram Zaatari and many others, resurrect memories, creating photographic works of a testimonial nature. In this section, artists raise questions about the senselessness and futility of war by highligh­ting the far-reaching and damaging effects it produces. These photographs take in both factual and fictional narrative forms, helping to also reveal the artists’ beliefs and points of view.

Ziad Antar, Roue de Beyrouth, 2011, Color photography, 125×125 cm, Courtesy Ziad Antar, KA Modern & Contemporary Art

Intimate is the title of the third theme, which puts the emphasis on the earthly body and the essence of beings. The works of Saro, Ziad Antar and Gilbert Hage are among those featured here, with the artists questioning this complex notion. Sub-themes examined include eroticism, vanity and the to­pical issue of the self-portrait.

Saro, Untitled, circa 1960, colorized photography, 30×40

Curator Tarek Nahas has also decided to pay a special tribute to Lebanese collectors, who have, through their ongoing support, allowed photography to take its rightful place on the Lebanese art scene, and for this purpose, Roger Moukarzel will show a commissioned photographic project especially dedicated to the collectors.

This project allows visitors to make the ultimate crossing and immerse themselves in the artistic production of the exhibition itself, while extending their reach beyond their own borders.  It will be accompanied by a series of roundtable talks and the publication of a catalogue, including a text by Tatyana Frank, director of the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne.

Curator : Tarek Nahas
Artistic Director : Marine Bougaran
Artistic Advisor : Laurence Nahas

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