composer and visual
artist. Born on June 4,
1967 in Wadi Chahrour
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.
Installations, painting drawing, sculptures,
photography and scenography
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 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.
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.
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
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)
VENICE BIENNALE – Zad Moultaka
LOCATION: Fondamenta Zattere ai Gesuati, 30123 Venice – Italy
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”).
On view at the biennial: 16 loudspeakers on pedestals and 8 more distributed all over the space in a multichannel audio installation (11minutes in loop) In collaboration with IRCAM – Centre Pompidou Commissioned by the Vanhaerents Art Collection
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, 21 ARTISTS AND A BIENNIAL #49, PAGES 158-163