After Images by Ziad Antar
After Images by Ziad Antar
After Images by Ziad Antar
After Images by Ziad Antar

After Images by Ziad Antar

FROM THE 1st OF MARCH TILL THE 22nd OF MARCH
A project by Ziad Antar Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist Co- curator Manal Khader Poems by Yahya Amqassim

Beirut Exhibition Center is pleased to invite you to Ziad Antar’s solo exhibition.

 

Ziad began working on this project in 2010, inspired by the work of Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi on the origins of the Bible, which guided Ziad’s repetitive visits to the Arabian Peninsula, and the region of Asir in specific.

 

“After Images” is neither about documenting nor about proving Salibi’s theories right or wrong.  Instead, this work looks into the nature of the myth as a possible historical narrative and advocates the impossibility of documenting such narratives.

 

The artist’s work has revolved around questioning photography: the medium, its constraints and limitations. How to document historical narratives with a camera? What are the limits of a photographic device in capturing or preserving traces, historical or other? Can these nonexistent traces be revealed to the human eye or to the eye of the camera?

 

With the modest means with which he treats his subjects and the technical constraints that he binds himself to, Ziad allows the medium to capture an instant translation of his ideas. Like in his earlier series “Expired” where he used 1976 black and white Expired films, a project about the disintegration of images, he questions the concept of documentation and the role of archives.

 

In “After Images” he chose to work with a lens-less camera to experiment the metamorphosis of light. The outcome is a series of images with poetic colors and occasional ambivalent features, images that could have been taken in Asir, or in olive groves in Saida. Photography in “After Image” captures the way light can only be accessed through perceptual experience, namely as color, the minimal way in which we can experience light, stripped of shape.

 

“After Images”questions the notion of the one-truth by underlining the contrast between light, as a real-world physical phenomenon and color, as a subjective sensation. In this sense, Ziad’s photos capture the impossibility to have access to what there was.

 

In this project Ziad collaborated with Saudi writer Yahya Amqassim who wrote a series of poems derived from the basic myths of the Bible. Amqassim’s poems seek to capture the evolving nature of the myths that can gain or lose details through space and time. By telling us his own version of the old myths Amqassim is proposing a perception and never a proof.

CONTRIBUTORS

 

Ziad Antar: Born in Saida, Lebanon, he a Lebanese video artist and photographer. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the American University of Beirut before turning to video and arts with a residency at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and a post-diploma of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Antar’s work has been acquired by several public collections, including Centre George Pompidou in France and the British Museum in the United Kingdom. 

 

Hans Ulrich Obrist is Co- Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show “World Soup” (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 250 shows. Obrist’s recent publications include Lives of Artists, Lives of Architects, Ways of Curating, A Brief History of Curating, Do It: The Compendium, and The Age of Earthquakes with Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar.

 

Manal Khader is a writer, editor and actress based in Beirut. She is one of the founders of Kalamon, a Beirut based cultural quarterly review, and was its co-editor from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, she co-wrote and performed with Rabih Mroué a play titled “Ode to Joy”.

 

Yasmina Jraissati holds a PhD in philosophy and cognitive sciences. Her research is motivated by the relationship between culture and cognition, with a focus on perception. She namely specializes on color categorization at the interface of language and perception. Yasmina lectures at the American University of Beirut.

 

Yahya Amqassim is a writer. A graduate of King Saud University, he is currently a foreign diplomat and has served in the Saudi embassies in Paris and Beirut. He is the author of Stories from Saudi Arabia (2004) and The Crow Leg (2008). In 2010, he was chosen by the Beirut39project as one of the best young writers from the Arab world. 

Artists in this Exhibition

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