Venice Biennale (2007)
Foreword (The Lebanese Pavilion)
Venice Biennale (2007)
Curators: Sandra Dagher & Saleh Barakat
The exhibition ‘Foreword’ (Lebanese Pavilion) gathers five artists (Lamia Joreige, Fouad Khoury, Walid Sadek, Mounira El Solh and Akram Zaatari), whose work covers a number of artistic practices: personal narratives, acts of bearing witness, collecting testimonies, and cutting through the skin of political turmoil and historical events to hit the bone of intimate expression.
The artists commissioned for the Lebanese pavilion come from different backgrounds, work in different media, and are at varying stages of their respective careers. More than that, however, they are all, each in their own fashion, questioning the formation and experience of self, individualism, and citizenship in ways that are illuminating well beyond Lebanon’s borders.
This exhibition in the first-ever Pavilion of Lebanon presents five distinct yet related bodies of work that mark different attempts to answer a similar set of questions – all of which revolve around a more general query, where to begin?
Je d’histoires (2006 – 2007)
Interactive multimedia installation
Je d’histoires plays multiple stories. The spectator is invited to construct his own visual story from an array of video images, texts and music. He/she becomes an actor in the narrative process, each time renewing it. Among the videos presented are landscapes, urban views of Beirut and Super 8 found footage. The texts are letters about love and war. The music features sounds playing on repetition, melodious tunes, and lyrical sequences. His / her presence is also recorded through a microphone and its sounds stored into a database to be later transformed and re-injected at a different time during playing, like an irruption or a ghost sound. The spectator affects – disturbs the playing as the sounds he / she cues while watching, can provoke a disintegration of the image. His / her presence is therefore imprinted in the sequence, making it unique.The installation Je d’histoires is meant to evolve. In the future, more videos, texts and music will be added to it, increasing the narrative possibilities to a point where I, (the author), will lose control of the many scenarios, leaving room for “accidents”.