Mori Art Museum (2012)
Curated by Nanjo Fumio (Director, Mori Art Museum) & Kondo Kenichi (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum)
From lifestyles to identity, the rapidly transforming Arab world possesses a diversity of cultures that cannot be overstated. And the traditions, religion, customs and aesthetics that constitute that diversity are vividly reflected in the work of the region’s artists.
In the last few years, many exhibitions of contemporary art from the Arab world have been held globally, and within the region itself there are indications that the art industry is maturing, with Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art opening in Doha (Qatar) in 2010, and branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim Museum now under construction in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). “Arab Express” introducing the artworks by 34 artists from the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding Arab countries, is the first exhibition of its kind ever to be held in Japan.
A catalogue of the exhibition Arab Express was published by the Mori Art Museum
Beirut Autopsy of a City
This project proposes possible reconciliations between the task of the archaeologist and that of the poet, between modern images and ancient texts. In the middle of tales of conquest and defeat that shaped (and disfigured) Beirut, one wanders amidst narratives that point out to the impossibility of constructing a grand history.
The first chapter A history of Beirut’s possible disappearance exposes collected elements from various epochs, juxtaposed and overlapped in what seems to be a timeline; they constitute poetic associations between image and text, creating inter-temporal relations between those elements. These fragments question the validity of a complete and comprehensive history and propose instead a fictionalized narrative.
The second chapter Beirut, 1001 views is a large projection of a wide view of the harbor. This image, a multi-layered one, is an amalgam of different photographs taken at various times, each referring to a specific moment of history. It is therefore a fictive representation of Beirut that embodies simultaneously different periods of history, hence being neither a past image nor a present one, yet one reflecting a time that is non-linear. Elements of the image disappear while other appear almost imperceptibly.
The third chapter Beirut, 2058 displaces the anxiety from the past and its remnants and projects it unto a future apocalyptic realm. A narrator speaks of numerable troubles of the past that seem to have culminated in a catastrophe