During his 3-month long residency with the Beirut Art Center, Mohammad Berro has been continuing his research into the violent limitations and dark underbellies of key liberal values, and examining the exclusions formed by such promises. Building upon his 2019 film What Side on Earth Do I Work For? which exposed the vacant performativity of the notion of transparency, he expands his critique to notions of personal freedom and private property, by looking at two seemingly distant enclosures.
As part of his residency, Berro traveled to Serbia in order to meet Vít Jedlička, a Czech politician and member of the right libertarian party Svobodní, who has been on a mission since 2015 to establish what he holds to be the ideal form of state on an unclaimed 7 km sq parcel of land between Croatia and Serbia. The self-appointed president of The Free Republic of Liberland is continuing his mission to create a country governed by a self regulating -cryptocurrency based- free market economy and libertarian political ethic.
A little closer to home, Berro also set his sight on a local group called The Hub, whom he had come across in a high profile incident involving a mysterious tent erected on the Azariye square, in the midst of last year’s uprisings. Posing as one of the many civil society groups on the square offering an open platform for dialogue, it soon became clear that not everyone was welcome into the tent of the Hub. The revelation of this exclusionary impulse, along with several of The Hub’s dubious agendas, lead to a series of confrontations that culminated in the burning of the tent.
In an installation combining animation, video documentation and snippets of audio interviews, Berro sets-up fragments from spoken and unspoken narratives and ideologies presented by these two entities. Through this approach, a shadowy and obscure figure known as “the other” is slowly revealed.
Featured Artist Mohamad Berro
Cinematography Rayssa Kanso
Video Editing Jad Youssef
3D Animation Ali Ahmad
Scenography Sabine Saba
Sound Design Toni Getani
Ashkal Alwan . Sursock Museum