March 28th, 2014

Akram Zaatari at Wiels

Time Capsule, Karlsaue Park, Kassel, 2012  Reinforced concrete foundation and 16 photographic objects. Concrete, steel, wood, acrylic, time and photographic memory. 83 x 83 x 268 cm  Commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13) dOCUMENTA (13) and co-produced with Marseille-  Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg; Köster Bau, Bielefeld

Artist: Akram Zaatari

Venue: Wiels, Brussels

Exhibition Title: This Day at Ten

Date: February 21 – April 27, 2014

Click here to view slideshow

Akram Zaatari at Wiels

Akram Zaatari at Wiels

Saida June 6th 1982, 2003  video, colour, sound, 4,30min, Ed5+1  Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut / Hamburg

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of the artist, WIELS, and Sfeir-Semler Gallery. Photos by Sven Laurent.

Press Release:

WIELS presents the first solo exhibition in Belgium by Lebanese-born, Beirut-based artist Akram Zaatari (b.1966). Zaatari showed one of the most celebrated works at last year’s Venice Biennale, Letter to a Refusing Pilot, and brings this film installation to WIELS, together with three works that revolve around a letter, or the writing of a letter.

The title of the exhibition refers to Zaatari’s cinematic essay from 2003, the similarly titled This Day. Ten years later, with the war in Syria escalating and unsolvable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he uses the work as a prism through which to bring the past and the present into focus. Zaatari’s work is a meditation upon images, their meaning and function, and the ways in which they circulate.

Closely linked with the practice of archiving and opening up a collection, he has developed a very personal montage style, open and documentary with subjective voice-overs or text overlays. Zaatari thus gives a voice to the people portrayed and the photographers, and juxtaposes these subjective documents with the great historical developments and conflicts of the age.

Zaatari profiles himself as one of the people spearheading the renewal of documentary filmmaking and photography, and more specifically as a lucid observer of images from the emotionally laden Middle East, a region that has long been divided and scarred by war. Providing evidence to counter Western stereotypes of the Arabs, their culture and nature is a driving force for both Zaatari and the Arab Image Foundation, of which he is a co-founder. Writing a letter is simultaneously both proof and testimony: a personal reaction to events, and the registration of what takes place. In the exhibition, during the excavation of The Letter for a Time of Peace (2007), we encounter the voice of a resistance actor from war in Southern Lebanon. Letter to a Refusing Pilot is an evocative, poetic narrative dedicated to the former Israeli pilot who refused to bomb the school in the city of Zaatari’s birth.

Link: Akram Zaatari at Wiels

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