SOLO Exhibition: Espace Kettaneh Kunigh – Beirut 2009

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Exhibitions, Uncategorized


Place: Espace Kettaneh Kunigh, Gefinor, Beirut

Date: February-March 2009

Solo Exhibition: “Landscapes as Collective Memory”

” In my paintings, I reflected upon landscapes; I compared Lebanon with other countries I have visited like India, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and European countries. I had one question at mind: How do we perceive in a visual language one country as our identity and sense of belonging? What defines home?

 Familiarities of geography, language, religion, and habits have created our shared collective memory. Arts, landscapes, typography, and color represent our visual mode of perceiving.  Using these elements, I portrayed landscapes by reconstructing an inwardly perception of them. It is somehow viewing a landscape from inside and not from outside.

 In Lebanon, I am connected to the smell of earth, pine trees, mountains, and to Beirut walls! In the quest of defining what we really call home, I collected natural earth pigment from Mount Lebanon and used it from time to time as a part of my
material. Growing up in a city like Beirut, and watching its quarters changing
everyday with the turbulent changes of social and political ideologies, is what
made me identify myself to those city walls! These walls show how much the
Lebanese have a tremendous perseverance for life, for freedom of thought and
self expression. In my paintings, adding signs and graffiti, collage from
street posters, digital media sometimes, I try to reveal a forgotten beauty:
the beauty of dust and time, the beauty of being imperfect, and the beauty of
accepting aggression! Just like the wall has been subject to transformation and
changes, my paintings follow the same procedure seeking a more subtle wall
inside and trying to go through it!

 Among all other countries, India, in particular, has welcomed me home in a very special way. India to me was a Loving Mother; there, my definition of identity has been completely transformed: True Home is inside! Paintings related to India
included visual elements, Sanskrit language, and landscapes which were a way to
introspect on our True Home.

 What we really perceive by physical seeing is the impression of our habit and collective memory analyzed by our analytical mind. Imagination takes part of it anyway. Therefore, seeing is not a mere function of the eye, but a complete process of
memory, mind, and emotions. ‘Collective Memory’ reveals the intricate
relationship of man to his land, language, and culture. Consequently, art
permits, through relevant images, an understanding of human destiny, its
anxiety, and its inquiring conflicts.”

Rima Saab


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