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Almost Real

April 24, 2009 - June 9, 2009 11:00 am

mounira al solh · charbel haber · kinda hassan · cynthia zaven

since 2006, the almost real program initiated by the european cultural foundation has been funding and supporting works by lebanese artists in the fields of visual and multidisciplinary arts.

for the second edition of almost real in lebanon, independent sound artist and computer programmer tarek atoui, sandra dagher and lamia joreige were asked to select and follow up on the production of artworks initiated within the interdisciplinary workshops atoui had been giving in lebanon since 2006.

in lebanon and the middle east, tarek atoui is currently giving different workshops on new technologies applied to art. the workshops between 2006 and 2008 took place with the support of lebanese and international institutions such as ashkal alwan- beirut, ircam – paris, the steim studios and the european cultural foundation – amsterdam.

these workshops are about introducing young and established artists to the use of computer and interactive technologies in the fields of sound and image performance, installation, fine art and video art. they take place on a project basis where each selected participant develops an artistic project that uses these technologies in a meaningful and original way.

4 – the 2009 almost real exhibition- will show 4 video and sound installation works by the following artists:

charbel haber – when no body’s around (the cables between us)

a sound installation and musical piece for 8 electric guitars with no performers. a support system in the absence of the living. a mechanical robot in it’s most primitive form. a device with the sole purpose of maintaining a hoax: the illusion that this city is inhabited.

everyone left. cooks, crooks, lovers, painters, sinners, husbands, wives, fanatics, politicians, cinematographers, whores, actors, photographers, bartenders, groupies, fans, tv presenters, designers, bankers, journalists, writers, musicians….

and the instruments were left behind in the company of small mechanical setups to make them resonate. sound waves shake lazy molecules so the air won’t stagnate. even if the musicians never come back, the city will sound alive.

kinda hassan – ashoura – untitled (video installation)

this project is an attempt to sneak into the individual dimension of the event of achoura: where history and ideology give way to the body, to the interaction between individuals and to the seduction that takes place in every mass gathering. during achoura, nabatieh becomes a space of performance. and in every performance, there’s an actor and a spectator, and the interchangeable link that weaves between the two entities.

mounira al solh – the sea is a stereo (2007- ongoing) : photo & video installation

the sea is a stereo is an ongoing series of reflections on a group of men who swim everyday at the beach in beirut no matter the circumstances: rain, wind, war, etc … even as we read this, these men may be swimming or preparing themselves to do so. the project consists of different elements: a number of videos, photographs, a lecture and other materials.

i see these elements as different possibilities for the making of the sea is a stereo, which seems to me a never-ending work, like the men who will never stop swimming.

cynthia zaven – octophonic diary : 16 speakers sound installation

we used to play music in shelters. get vinyls from abroad whenever we got the chance. if found in local stores, m. would break those same records so we’d exclusively own them… this was 1985. if the whole country was going to hell, our music was not going along with it. it was our life, our time. we were 14, 16 and 17.

all i have from those memories and others that are much older are tapes that i found in a box, stored in the attic. some memories are as old as me. i hear myself talk, i am a stranger’s voice that seems to have belonged to me, but got lost somewhere in time. somewhere in this pandora sound box that i decided to organize one day.

with the support of the european cultural foundation