Katya Traboulsi, a Beirut-based multimedia artist, transforms destructive military objects into beautiful ornate vessels which proposes that culture will ultimately survive in these dark times.
Her show, Perpetual Identities, which opened March 9, at Saleh Barakat Gallery, puts on display 46 hand-crafted replicas of Lebanese war bombshells adorned with colorful patterns, beads and sculpted forms. Each of these bombshells take on a different iconography which is associated with a national identity.
“My creations are inspired by historical events. The artisans who contributed to this project represent the memory of this history. Their talent and know-how are the legacy of their identity,” explains Traboulsi.
The interplay between the form of the bombshell and the iconographic content posits a tension between war and culture. The transformation of destructive military objects into beautiful ornate vessels proposes that culture will ultimately survive in these dark times. This exhibition was planned to present this meticulous and meaningful work.
Then the idea quickly developed into a book. “Perpetual Identities” is not simply an exhibition catalogue, but rather a coffee table book explaining the process of the artistic creations. Not only does it feature the history of 46 countries, but also their arts and crafts, their culture… Thus putting art at the service of culture, memory and identity. The opening of the show coincided with Katya Traboulsi book signing.
The show will go on until April 28, 2018 at Saleh Barakat Gallery, Clemenceau, Justinian Street, Beirut, Lebanon