Tag Archives: contemporary art

Beirut Art Critics

Dear BACritics readers,

We have lost full access to our blog.

In fact, the creation of “artsbeirut.wordpress.com” was an exercise during a course at university. We took this exercise far beyond the classroom walls and was a start of a dream come true. Being able to assist to many exhibitions and contribute to the Lebanese cultural scene was exciting and full of bright surprises and enriching experience. The part that allowed all contributors to have access to this one blog, was the teacher, that is surprisingly not responsive to our requests to gain full access to this blog. Having full access will enable us to take it a step further. Perhaps, he also lost access to his email, phone etc.

Due to these circumstances, we ask you to follow us on Facebook to keep up with our news. Eventually, a new blog or website will be created to keep in touch with you.

Thank you.

For those who would like to know a little bit more about us, you can read this brief in french from the Agenda Culturel

Contact us on beirutartcritics.mail@gmail.com

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Dial 911 for the new Middle East: a promenade

Protagonists: Ranine, Marie

Occasion: The Feel Collective, Dial 911 for the new Middle East, The Running Horse Contemporary art Space

Date and time: Thursday 15 September, 3 PM (Exhibition is on til 24 September)

Too bad we missed the opening on 9/11. Or, let us rephrase it, too bad we missed the performances by Paed Conca , Stéphane Rives and Fadi Tabbal from ‘under the carpet’, and then the Incompetents…

We came to the Running Horse the following Thursday, exhausted by three hours of driving around looking for cupcakes (by the way, we still don’t know where the best in town can be found. Marie still claims she can beat any bakery, but I’m skeptical…. Anyway, back on track)

Us being Ranine and Marie, we had to start our visit by the end. With the office at the back of the room. To all our museum studies professors: YES WE BROKE SOCIETY’S ARBITRARY RULES AND THE DICTATORSHIP OF EXHIBITION SPACES AS PROCESSIONAL TEMPLES! Now shoot us or applaud, whatever you prefer.

Out of the gallery’s offices, we stumble upon the design corner. Kind of like when you visit a museum and you can leave with a  mug printed with a famous painting, except edgier and 100 percent local production. There are t-shirts, scarves, ipad cases in a variety of colours, all decorated with patterns derived from the exhibition’s artwork, such as airplanes or Kalashinkov AK-47 guns  (we guess this was it). We say thumbs up to the nicely designed, locally-made, clever products, to art as fashion and art as design as fashion. The prices? More art-collector-friendly…

We promise we’re starting with the proper exhibition review. Only, the wrong way around and back again. Sorry.

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Collection Automne / Hiver 2011- 2012 : Tendance Zèbre

Je suis tombée un soir, en zappant devant ma télé, sur une vidéo de la chanteuse R&B Rihana – Rude Boy. Voici quelques images de la vidéo :



Etant donné que notre cerveau humain est doté d’une capacité de stockage de souvenirs et d’images très avancée, ce clip de Rihana m’a rappelé ce que j’avais vu il y a une dizaine de jours à peine lors du vernissage de l’exposition de Shereen Audi, à la galerie Pièce Unique – intitulée Unbound (en effet, le titre n’a rien à voir.)
Comme le nom de la galerie l’indique, j’ai eu droit à une exposition de « pièces uniques » et d’une artiste « unique » en son genre
Pour vous expliquer plus en détail :

Shereen Audi

Exhibition Unbound

SHereen Audi

Photos prises lors du soir d’ouverture.

L’artiste est jordanienne et n’a peut-être pas de PR libanais, mais que fait celui de Solidere ?
Une dizaine de personnes déambulaient dans la salle, photographe, cameramen, serveurs et artiste inclus.
Une petite quinzaine de toiles blanches presque identiques étaient accrochées de part et d’autre les murs, tel un accrochage/happening « improvisé »…
Les toiles blanches représentaient des dessins de corps féminins nus aux couleurs excentriques (fuchsia, mauve, jaune fluo..), avec des rayures de zèbres sur le corps.
Unbound : freed from bonds and restraints?… oui mais… où est le rapport ? J’ai l’impression qu’en Jordanie, on appelle encore malheureusement « artiste » toute femme voulant dénoncer les tabous sexuels par de simples traces de pinceaux… Des toiles qui ne disent rien, qui ne montrent rien, et en plus de tout ca, une technicité médiocre. C’est là que je décide de donner une deuxième chance à l’artiste, d’aller lui poser quelques questions pour mieux comprendre l’exposition.
Ah oui… la voila… heureusement… pas habillé en tenue zébrée.

Sarah: Hi my name is Sarah, I am an art critic, can I know more about your work and about the curator of this exhibition?
Shereen Audi: Curator? What does curator mean, I didn’t understand?
Sarah: Organizer
Shereen Audi: If you want to do an exhibition you have to talk to Solidere.

Bref… en fait j’avais eu des réponses à toutes mes questions, mais j’ai décidé quand même de donner une troisième chance au show ( jamais deux sans trois ) et d’aller parler à une personne que tout le monde prenait en photo, croyant que c’est la “curator” de l’exposition.

Sarah: Hi. Are you the curator of this exhibition?
Woman: curator? What does it mean?
Sarah: (essoufflée): ORGANIZER
Woman: We are Solidere, the artist comes to us and we plan an exhibition for his work. Who are you? Are you from a magazine?
Sarah: No… And who decided how the paintings will be put on the wall?
Woman: Me, the artist, some people working in Solidere… We help each other you know…

J’ai préféré laisser tomber ce dialogue stichomytique qui ne servait a rien… J’ai bu un verre de vin qu’un serveur m’a tendu … ce qu’il me fallait pour digérer tout ça.
Vous voulez connaitre les prix de ces ho…toiles? C’est celui de la prétention.
J’ai préféré retourner à ma télé et l’appréciation du high art de Rihanna.

Sarah


what is Lebanese art, after all?

I recently participated in the organization of an exhibition currently on show at the Beirut Exhibition Center, called Rebirth: Lebanon XXIst Century Contemporary Art. It showcases 49 Lebanese artists of all ages who all display works connected to the exhibition’s title in some way or another.

Being assistant curator, it would of course be completely dishonest of me to review my own exhibition. However, I’d like to share with you a text I wrote for the exhibition’s catalogue, where I (attempt / try /kind of) discuss the nature of Lebanese art. I’d love your opinion!

On the Lebanese-ness of Lebanese Art