Replay (2000)

Multimedia Installation
Three videos, book and text

A street, for long an inaccessible “territory”, a stage that I find essential to appropriate. As I revisit this place, I encounter nothing but rupture: A rupture of time, a rupture within time.

I Think of things that did happen, things that might have happened in this place during the war – For, I only knew it during the war. I imagine that He, who was photographed while dying, might have died here; that She, who was running, escaping something terrible, might have ran in the parking lot around the corner.

Perhaps it wasn’t them, perhaps it wasn’t here; still, I find their images inextricably linked to this place.

A fragment is captured, enlarged, repeated, thus turned into another version of itself. It carries its own memory: stories enacted (or to be enacted) in other geographies. Bodies sacrificed, murdered, executed repeatedly: a staging of violence in the absence of blood. Violence as rupture with the ever-present possibility of loss. Violence projected unto any act, at that singular instant when the real and the non-real are indiscernible. Violence endlessly re-enacted, always recognized.

Is there a trace that is not already withdrawn in relation to itself ?

The site of irreversible rupture: the sea, that of departures, immutable, always at a close distance, a familiar yet extraordinary imagery, demands uninterrupted contemplation. Here it separates two bodies – a man and a woman- each perpetuating a vain act, revealing the impossibility for them to be.

He falls many times and does not die, though he also never stops falling, never stops dying. She runs, coming towards us again and again; she doesn’t stop running, doesn’t stop escaping.

Icons of our present, reconstruction of a past, of an origin we can no longer recall.

Replay (2000)

Multimedia Installation
Three videos, book and text
Concept, camera, text, and production: Lamia Joreige
Co-produced by Ashkal Alwan (The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts).

With the participation of: Zeina Arida and Ziad Abi Azar
Book reference: La guerre du Liban (Images et chronologies), Dar Al – Massira, 1978

‘Replay’ explores the idea of rupture of time / within time, of rupture as violence and possible death. Two photographs – fragments – of the Lebanese war, are chosen to be re-enacted by two performers, a man and a woman. The book from which these photographs are taken is displayed in a small window, as an archival reference. We can see on each of the three aligned screens of equal size, a video projected in loop: A man never stops falling, never stops dying (right screen). A woman never stops running, never stop escaping (left screen). Two bodies separated by the immutable sea (middle screen), are perpetuating a vain act.