In a nod to the world’s hottest storytelling platform – Pecha Kucha or “show and tell” – Selections has asked a number of artists and designers to talk about a specific project through imagery and an economy of words. The result is a simple yet engaging and visually captivating tale that sheds light upon the work whilst providing insights into the life and personal thoughts of each featured artist and designer. Passion and knowledge all wrapped into one.
I was born in Lebanon and graduated in political science from the American University of Paris. In 2005, I founded Talents Vidéo, a company that produces and distributes art films. Since then, I’ve had a varied artistic career that saw me commission the digital section of the 2008 exhibition Art in Sports, sponsored by Adidas. In 2010, I curated the exhibition Who Are You, Peter? at the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in Paris, and that same year, Talents Vidéo produced and delivered 10 films that create the link between video art and classical music. The program was projected at the Musée de le Chasse et de la Nature during Museum Night. In 2012, I curated two events: Nuit Blanche Paris, projecting La Mer by Ange Leccia in the RATP’s premises, and the installation L’Homme d’Eau by Patrick Corillon at Place Bodoyer. Three years later I curated the Heartland exhibit at the Beirut Exhibition Centre, and in 2016 I was commissioned by auction house Piasa to curate an exhibition by Michel Deverne at Over the Counter in Beirut. In 2017, I was the curator of Forms and Patterns, in partnership with Beirut Design Fair, at Maison Rabih Kayrouz in Beirut, and in 2018 and 2019 I was the artistic director of Beirut Art Fair.
You asked me to choose a particular topic I would like to raise in the art world.
Here it is: our Thawra, Revolution. Never resign to accept the unacceptable! That is precisely what our Lebanese youth are teaching us. Thawra is intrinsically linked to the art world. Christian Boltanski, a French artist, whose work I’m currently showing in a retrospective at Beaubourg, claims that “Art begins with trauma.” Among the artist I love – Bacon, Schiele, Rothko – all questioned themselves and created a Thawra in their own world. I’ve always remembered this sentence from a John Giorno painting, “You’ve got to burn to shine.” You take a risk to move on. Thawra is a key world generated in the unconscious that pushes artists. It always starts with the inner revolutionaries who lead to great works and changes. When you have a Thawra there is no going back.
“Thawra is a key world generated in the unconscious that pushes artists”
The human chain is the most moving event that happened since any thawra in our region. A true communion of solidarity and respect regardless of religion, social class, apolitical. Our citizens showed the world that yes, you can protest! But with respect and ethics.
Reading and music are my cursor of well being.
Nadim Asfar is a romantic traveler, his images are very literary they take me back to a kind of sweet nostalgia and melancholy, and remind me of 18th-century romantic writers and artists. In front of his beautiful landscape, I escape and daydream.
Daniele Genadry is a very promising emerging artist who questions in her paintings the light and the image in a era of digital world.
Jeremy Demester is a young French artist who has a body of work that talks about the sacred, the invisible, mythology, rituals and superstition. He questions these doors that open to the unknown.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, SHOW & TELL #51 PAGES 76 – 77