After a memorable run as the first Lebanese Pavilion at the International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, The Place that Remains returned to Beirut after a brief opening interrupted by the pandemic in 2020, and will be on show at Beit Beirut from February 10 until March 20, 2022.
Designed by Hala Younes, the exhibition is an ongoing inventory of the unbuilt territory, fostering the visibility of land through various forms of representation, namely 3D relief maps, aerial imagery, photography, and video, with the focus being placed on the watershed of Beirut River. Aiming to provide a reflection on the land described as our “Last Monument”, The Place That Remains draws horizons of hope for the future of our national territory and landscape.
The main cartographic installation reveals what cannot be seen with the naked eye; it represents specific facts and highlights corresponding relations. The work of the artists, Gregory Buchakjian, Catherine Cattaruzza, Gilbert Hage, Houda Kassatly, Ieva Saudargaite Douaihi, and Talal Khoury, addresses through photography and video the complex relation of the Lebanese people to nature and landscape.
THE PLACE THAT REMAINS: Recounting the Unbuilt Territory, was exhibited in Venice between May and November 2018, at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition; it constitutes the first Lebanese participation in this major event.
The Lebanese Pavilion was curated by Hala Younes, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Lebanese American University LAU, under the patronage of the Lebanese Ministry of Culture, and the Lebanese Order of Engineers and Architects. The exhibition gathered many Lebanese institutions and individuals, architects, artists and researchers, under the theme “The Place that Remains”. It involved a reflection on the built environment through a reflection on the unbuilt land, and possible visions for the future of our national territory and landscape. The focus was on Nahr Beirut (Beirut River) and its watershed. In addition, the pavilion featured the work of six photographers from Lebanon, as well as historical aerial photographs lent by the Lebanese Army.
The project explores the preconditions for architecture through an assessment of its bedrock and its main challenges: the fragility of the territory, the scarcity of its resources, and its commodification.