Revolution vs. Revolution


Vyacheslav Akhunov

Francis Alÿs

Hai Bo

Steven Cohen

Phil Collins

tacita dean

Fadi El Abdallah

David Goldblatt

William Kentridge

Susan Meiselas

Neil Cummings

Marysia Lewandowska

Boris Mikhailov

February 3, 2012 - April 13, 2012

abbas · vyacheslav akhunov · francis alÿs · hai bo · steven cohen · phil collins · tacita dean · fadi el abdallah · david goldblatt · alfredo jaar · william kentridge · marysia lewandowska& neil cummings · susan meiselas · boris mikhailov

beirut art center is pleased to present revolution vs revolution, a collective thematic exhibition. since 2010, countries from the arab world have been going through a period of rapid and radical change. events from the atlantic to the arabian gulf promise new previously unforeseeable trajectories. a new narrative is unfolding.

it is in this context and in the light of these historical events that beirut art center is organizing an exhibition and series of events exploring other junctures from the last fifty years that have led to radical changes, such as revolutions, the rise and fall of regimes and ideologies, as well as social and political movements whose effects were felt around the world and to this day. this includes important movements like the iranian revolution of 1979, the dissolution of the soviet union and fall of communism in europe, the chinese cultural revolution, the end of apartheid, the student riots in the 60s, as well as nasserism and the rise of arab nationalism.

the choice not to include any works dealing with the actual situation in the arab world was deliberate, as the narrative is still in progress in our region. the aim of the exhibition is not to be an exhaustive survey of historical events, but to reflect on radical movements and transformations, the context in which they have taken place, as well as their legacy, and more specifically, their resonance in our region today. the exhibition will present a selection of artworks whose significance is at once the historical aspect, and the artistic response to a time of political change.

the title of the exhibition, revolution vs revolution, suggests the idea that revolution often leads to other revolutions, either in confrontation with previously established systems, or by inspiring similar changes across time and across borders. in this case, the term ‘revolution’ should be understood in its broadest sense, as radical social and political change over relatively short periods of time. the exhibition aims to invoke previous revolutions in confrontation with both their present realities and the current changes gripping our region. some of these works were produced contemporary to these events, forming a record of historical moments and an artistic reflection made in their immediacy. other works were produced long after, and look back at these radical changes from a new perspective. the title also refers to the idea that these past revolutions should be re-examined now, through the perspective of the current situation in the arab world.

the exhibition will be accompanied by a series of screenings, lectures and roundtables with the aim of extending reflection on these historical events and reflecting on their present impact. other events will be dedicated to discussing and reflecting on the actual situation in the arab world.