Maissa Maatouk • Temps Mort

Maissa Maatouk

· ·
March 22, 2024 7:00 pm

In his book What Was I thinking? Jalal Toufic writes “One manner of being worthy of one’s misfortunes and of events in general, deserving them, is to touch base with if not be in constant simultaneous perception of the Imaginal World, where they are not accidental, and where, taking the guise of subtle bodies illuminated not by an external light but by their intrinsic light, they appear in their perfection and brilliance.” [Jalal, Toufic. What Was I Thinking? Berlin: e-flux journal-Sternberg Press, 2017. p. 196]

Last spring, I came across a group of delivery drivers sitting in a street surrounded by yellow flowers near the Manara neighborhood in Beirut. Waiting for order notifications on the delivery application in this meadow, a space likely to be developed into buildings, these men are mostly unregistered workers living under the constant threat of police raids. While the drivers exist in a state of imminence set between delivery orders or a raid, I attempted to capture their gestures as they waited; oscillating between agitation and stillness against the impervious backdrop of yellow flowers.

This film edits these gestures and utterances together in an attempt to liberate them from the actual state of imminence, and make them instead appear strictly as gestures.

Maissa Maatouk (b. 1992) is an artist living and working in Beirut. Taking the form of videos, her work looks for aesthetic strategies to overcome the neutralizing effect related to sectarian power. Video becomes a way to act in the state of suspension to generate time and space outside of the power-structure causing it. She graduated with a Bachelor degree (2014) and a Masters degree (2017) in Product and Global Design from Académie Libanaise des Beaux-arts, was a 2019–2020 fellow at Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program.


Temps Mort, 7’10’’

Sound Recording: Jad Ghazali

Production Manager: Bilal Khalaf


This work was developed through the Saradar Fondation Art Residency program with the support of Saradar Foundation (2023)

Realized with the support of Mophradat (2024)