21 ARTISTS AND A BIENNIAL | ZAD MOULTAKA

´The Death of James Lee Byars - Zad Moultaka in dialogue’. James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars – installation view © Michael Werner Gallery, The Estate of James Lee Byars; Marie-Puck Broodthaers
Portrait of Zad Moultaka. © Sarah Bastin
Portrait of Zad Moultaka. © Sarah Bastin

Zad Moultaka
French-Lebanese
composer and visual
artist. Born on June 4,
1967 in Wadi Chahrour
(Lebanon)

 

Zad Moultaka has regularly exhibited in Lebanon, Venice and Paris. In 2017, he represented Lebanon at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with ŠamaŠ, Soleil Noir Soleil, which brings together a sound and visual installation.

Zad Moultaka, Terra, Incognita 2018, Dimension 590 X 230 cm. Acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
Zad Moultaka, Terra, Incognita 2018, Dimension 590 X 230 cm. Acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Since 2016, photography exhibition(Astres Fruitiers), painting works, sound and visual installations were shown in France at the Institut du Monde Arabe as part of the artistic event of great magnitude in Paris, Nuit Blanche, with the partnership of IRCAM. In addition to a show at the Dome of Oscar Niemeyer in Tripoli, Lebanon, Pompidou Metz, France, Venice, Italy, Deutsche Oper Berlin.

At the end of the 1990s, he abandoned a successful career as a solo pianist to devote himself entirely to composition and the visual arts

HE REPRESENTED LEBANON AT THE 57TH VENICE BIENNALE (MAY-NOVEMBER 2017)

´The Death of James Lee Byars - Zad Moultaka in dialogue’. James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars – installation view © Michael Werner Gallery, The Estate of James Lee Byars; Marie-Puck Broodthaers
´The Death of James Lee Byars – Zad Moultaka in dialogue’. James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars – installation view © Michael Werner Gallery, The Estate of James Lee Byars; Marie-Puck Broodthaers

He created the Mezwej ensemble in 2004, a project based on an approach, a state of mind of experimentation, research and creation through a questioning of Eastern and Western cultures, specific tension and friction between writing and orality.

Sketches for Vocal Shadows (2019). © Zad Moultaka
Sketches for Vocal Shadows (2019). © Zad Moultaka
Sketches for Vocal Shadows (2019). © Zad Moultaka
Sketches for Vocal Shadows (2019). © Zad Moultaka

 

Zad Moultaka has been pursuing for several years a personal research on plastic and musical language. In his work as a composer, he integrates the fundamental data of Western contemporary writing – structures, trends, families and signs – with the specific characteristics of Arabic music – monody, heterophony, modality, rhythms, vocality

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installation view of ´The Death of James Lee Byars - Zad Moultaka in dialogue’ © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of thee artist
Installation view of ´The Death of James Lee Byars – Zad Moultaka in dialogue’ © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of thee artist

 

 

 

 

IN 2017, SEVERAL MAJOR EVENTS REINFORCED THE INTERNATIONAL POSITION OF ZAD MOULTAKA, RED WIRE COMPOSER OF THE MUSICA EDITION OF THE YEAR: PARTICIPATION IN ART DUBAI IN THE ARAB EMIRATES, MAJOR EXHIBITION AT ST PIERRE-AUXNONNAINS AT THE ARSENAL OF METZ , DESIGN AND REALIZATION WITH « ŠAMAŠ » SOUND AND PLASTIC INSTALLATION FOR THE LEBANESE PAVILION, BIENNIAL OF ART OF VENICE, ITALY (MAY-NOVEMBER 2017)

The Death of James Lee Byars - Zad Moultaka in dialogue’. James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars, detail © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of Zad Moultaka
The Death of James Lee Byars – Zad Moultaka in dialogue’. James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars, detail © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of Zad Moultaka

Vocal Shadows is an immersive audio installation Zad Moultaka has conceived specifically for this exhibition. With rituals of mourning as its central leitmotifs and drawing from the artist’s personal background in music, this installation evokes a funeral choir whose requiem guides the passage of a disembodied spirit. Sixteen loudspeakers, arranged in two symmetrical lines and spaced at regular intervals, play back in loop multiple anonymous voices, quoting from the Book of the Dead, the ancient Egyptian scripture on the afterlife. Their singing style is, as Moultaka has characterized, somewhere between a polyphonic chant and tantric breathing. Seeking to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western cultural traditions, whilst playing with notions of performance and physical absence, Zad Moultaka finds a natural companion in James Lee Byars. On a subtle level, his Vocal Shadows alludes to The Play of Death, one of the first ever performances in which Byars directly dealt with the subject of mortality. Performed in 1977 on the balconies of the Dom Hotel in Cologne, it involved the artist, flanked by doctors, briefly uttering the sound “th…” (for “thanatos,” the Greek for “death”).

AT BIENNALE
Location: Fondamenta Zattere ai Gesuati, 30123 Venice – Italy

Zad Moultaka, Vocal Shadows (2019). © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of the artist
Zad Moultaka, Vocal Shadows (2019). © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of the artist
Zad Moultaka, Vocal Shadows (2019). © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of the artist
Zad Moultaka, Vocal Shadows (2019). © Formentini Zanatta. Courtesy of the artist

A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS #49

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS

FROM MOKHTAR TO GAZBIA II BY ARTTALKS

ArtTalks is pleased to present the second edition of From…

Ibrahim Mahama, On a spaceship, 2019-2022. Giclee Fine Art Print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper – Photo Rag Smooth. 40 x 50 cm. Edition of 30 © the artist. Courtesy White Cube

‘ON A SPACESHIP’ BY IBRAHIM MAHAMA

‘ON A SPACESHIP’ BY IBRAHIM MAHAMA FOR THE FRIEZE X…

RACHANA’S OWN STAR BY CLAUDE LEMAND

Anachar Basbous’s Sculptures Soothe And Enchant Me; They Make Me…

Park Nina - Août Gallery

‘Genuine Rhythm’ at Août Gallery

Août Gallery is pleased to present the newest body of…

LAETITIA EL HAKIM: IN MUD, RUST, AND BLOOD

Laetitia El Hakim presents her first solo exhibition as part…

Zaman Jassim When the Moon is Full, 2021 Fiberglass, LED lights and video projection 1000x1000x270 cm Courtesy the artist Photo

NOOR RIYADH, THE GROUNDBREAKING ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND ART

Annual festival of light and art Noor Riyadh returns on…

december 2022

25aug(aug 25)18:0007jan(jan 7)21:00ANIA SOLIMAN | TERRAFORM

06sepAll Day11decPIONEERS AND COLLECTIVES IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA

14sepAll Day09decNAVJOT ALTAF | PATTERN