Designed in co-production with the Pompidou Centre, this new exhibition offers an unprecedented dialogue between exceptional works from the Pompidou Centre collection and pieces by Lebanese artists of all generations. Produced in recent years or following the tragic explosions of 4 August 2020, their works trace out possible paths to the future, between despair and gentleness, exiles and new anchorages.
Land of myth and legend, where five thousand years of history have been written, nerve centre of relations between the Arab world and the West throughout its history, Lebanon has passed through troubled times since its creation as an independent state.
Its strategic position, the source of its prestige, is also a source of envy and destruction. In recent years the country, after recovering from a long civil war and several successive wars, has experienced an unprecedented economic and social crisis. The demonstrations which have sprung up en masse have encountered opposition from the political class.
On 4 August 2020, the blast from the explosion in the port of Beirut completely devastated the city, leaving hundreds of people dead and hundreds of thousands injured and displaced. Faced with the disaster, the Boghossian Foundation immediately came to the aid of the victims. The idea was born to present an exhibition at the Villa Empain in 2021 to give a voice to artists, widely affected by the event,
The exhibition explores the spectrum of the practices and reactions by artists faced both with these recent years of débâcle and with the event of the explosion and its consequences for the people and for the city, of which the ruined districts are so many testimonies.
Confronted with massive shortages, dissolving public services, devaluation, border conflicts, the pervasive trauma of a people out of breath and consumed by anger or despair, artists, native or having lived in Lebanon, have created works, directly or indirectly related to the situation of recent years.
Etel Adnan, Abed Al Kadiri, Charbel Alkhoury & Monica Basbous, Mounira Al Solh, Vladimir Antaki, Ziad Antar, Caline Aoun, Danielle Arbid, Vartan Avakian, Ayman Baalbaki, Charbel-joseph H. Boutros, Gregory Buchakjian, Ali Cherri, Omar Fakhoury, Simone Fattal, Raymond Gemayel, Daniele Genadry, Chafa Ghaddar, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Gilbert Hage, Yazan Halwani, ICONEM, Jeanne et Moreau, Maria Kassab, Mireille Kassar, Bettina Khoury Badr, Pierre Koukjian, Samar Mogharbel, Marwan Moujaes, Dala Nasser, Ramy Saad, Stéphanie Saadé, Christine Safa, Christian Sleiman, Rayyane Tabet, Paola Yacoub, Maha Yammine, Raed Yassin, Cynthia Zaven, Lamia Ziadé.