Art Factum Gallery (2013)
Record for Uncertain Times
Art Factum Gallery (2013)
Records for Uncertain Times
The solo exhibition ‘Records for Uncertain Times’ at Art Factum includes the two large-scale installations ‘Beirut, Autopsy of a City’ and ‘Under-Writing Beirut—Mathaf’, the video ‘Sleep’ and the human-sized photograms ‘One Night of Sleep’, as well as the sculptures ‘Black Heart’, etchings ‘Un ver à soie’ (A Silkworm) and two series of drawings ‘Untitled’.
From the recording of a singular instance to that of an uninterrupted event, Lamia Joreige consistently attempts to capture a present that is fleeting – an ephemeral reality. It is from that present that she reflects on our past and future, and considers and evokes notions of time and its traces, absence and death. Like palimpsests, her works are composed of multiple layers and temporalities that inhabit the same plane and convey the non-linearity of time.
As an extension from her previous work, in ‘Records for Uncertain Times’ Joreige uses archival documents and fictitious elements to explore the relation between individual stories and collective History. Her work is all the while grounded in the specificities of the recent history and present of Beirut, the city in which she resides. In this exhibition, Joreige undertakes experiments that reenact and reformulate images of past events in the present as well as investigate the physical inscription of time within matter.
‘Beirut, Autopsy of a City’ retells stories of the conquests, defeats and natural disasters that shaped and disfigured Beirut, leaving the viewer to wander amid fragments that point to the impossibility of constructing a grand history. ‘Under-Writing Beirut’ looks at historically and personally significant locations within Beirut’s present, links between the traces that record such places’ previous realities and the fictions that reinvent them. Mathaf, its first chapter, focuses on the area home to the National Museum of Beirut.
The series of prints ‘One Night of Sleep’, encapsulate the movement of the artist’s body and the passage of time as she sleeps on photographic paper. There are at once imprints of a physical presence and records of immaterial time unfolding.
‘Black Heart’, ‘Un ver à soie’ and ‘Untitled’ take inspiration from funerary objects, rendering organic shapes evoking ancient Egyptian amulets, human organ and cocoon.
As a whole, the works in ‘Records for Uncertain Times’ expand on time from its fragments to its infinite scale and explore the possibility of capturing reality through the registering of time unfolding. Most importantly, they question established approaches to history and chronology.