‘Caminante’ by Alida Torbay at the Cervantes Institute of Beirut

Alida Torbay, The Walker, 2024. Bronze, video, 170 cm.
Alida Torbay, The Walker, 2024. Bronze, video, 170 cm.

The multidisciplinary Venezuelan-Lebanese artist Alida Torbay presents ‘Caminante’ at the Cervantes Institute of Beirut, inspired by Antonio Machado’s poem ‘Caminante.’ This exhibition embodies the idea that our paths are revealed as we walk. Machado’s words, ‘Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar’ (Traveler, there is no road, you make your path as you walk), challenge Torbay to embark on an artistic journey exploring existence. Her work reflects on global travels and personal experiences, inviting viewers to contemplate their own life journeys through captivating bronze sculptures and installations symbolising the dynamic nature of travel.

Alida Torbay, La Mariée,2024. Resin, 200 cm.
Alida Torbay, La Mariée,2024. Resin, 200 cm.

Torbay states, ‘The path does not exist; it is but a fiction, a succession of lived moments and experiences that build a human being.’ The exhibition opens with ‘Caminante,’ a bronze sculpture accompanied by six resin sculptures representing giant steps, illustrating individual progress. Three bronze statues in the garden each carry unique meanings: a seated figure with an open suitcase symbolises settling down, ‘The Girl with Balloons’ embodies dreams and lightness, and ‘The Girl in a Mask’ reflects dual identity.

Inside, visitors encounter 20 sculptures, old and new, with three notable pieces: ‘The Mask Walker,’ featuring a video exploring identity shaped by masks; two brides, one in white and the other in black, symbolising nature’s decomposition and the fight for freedom against modern challenges, religious dogmas, and technological inhumanity. Torbay’s work reminds us that democracies and freedoms are at risk if not defended.

‘Caminante’ transcends a typical art exhibition, offering an artistic odyssey that transports spectators through Torbay’s life experiences. Through bronze sculptures, immersive installations, and evocative videos, she guides us on an introspective journey, reflecting on universal themes such as identity, time, freedom, and the human condition. This multimedia immersive exhibition, produced with the Cervantes Institute of Beirut and directed by Yolanda Soler Onis, provides a profound reflection on human conditions and modern challenges. The exhibition runs until June 27 at the Cervantes Institute in Beirut, then moves to the MACAM Museum in Alita, Jbeil.

Alida Torbay, Hand, 2015. Resin, 49 cm.
Alida Torbay, Hand, 2015. Resin, 49 cm.

About Alida Torbay

Born on November 4th, 1958, in Lebanon, Alida Torbay’s diverse journey enriches her artistic expression. Transitioning from Law and Bioethics to Philosophy and Entrepreneurship, she embarked on an artistic path in Venezuela during the 2000s. Studying sculpture at the Caracas Museum of Modern Art, she explored collective exhibitions, unveiling her passion for sculptural art. Torbay’s work delves into identity, freedom, and the human condition, reflecting profound reflections and a commitment to beauty and truth. Warning against humanity’s potential exploitation of nature, she envisions both a bright technoscientific future and the risks of widespread human disaster due to exploitation, domination, and its associated deviations.

Location: Cervantes Institute of Beirut

Dates: May 9 – June 27, 2024



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