Akram Zaatari: This Day

Part of the Desert Panorama Triptych, 2009
Met'eb el Maasheh, a Rwelah bedouin from the Raja Tribe
Northern outskirts of Palmyra (Syria), 2000
courtesy of the artist and Sfeir Semler Gallery

1st March - 10th April 2011
Mala galerija, Slovenska cesta 35, Ljubljana

Guest curator Galit Eilat

Akram Zaatari's installation This Day is his first solo exhibition in Slovenia. Zaatari is a Beirut-based filmmaker, artist and curator. His ongoing artistic research project unearths and examines a wide range of documents that testify to the current cultural and political conditions in Lebanon. In an almost archeological way, the work reveals the intimate layers of history contained in records of everyday experience in the territories subject to military invasions and withdrawals. Zaatari constructs narratives around documents and challenges their position in writing history. Also a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut), he bases his work on collecting, studying, and archiving the photographic history of the Middle East.

The installation This Day includes work studies of a collection of photographs of the Syrian Desert taken by the Syrian historian Jibrail Jabbur and the Lebanese Armenian photographer Manoug in the fifties. Zaatari looks at Jabbur?s interest in chronicling and documenting his society and retraces the locations of these images. The imagery moves from an idyllic rural past, when the central conflict was between camel and car, to the strife-ridden present of political mobilization and urban alienation.

A collection of Zaatari?s personal documents and photos referring to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (1982), when he started taking notes and using an audio recorder and a camera, will also be shown as part of the installation.

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