- Everyone is the creator of one’s own faith exhibition by AD Leb in Beirut
The title is inspired by Gaïa’s last Facebook post, which accompanied a picture of her running toward the camera with a green mountain behind her. We don’t know exactly what Gaïa Fodoulian had in mind when she posted the phrase with a photograph taken months earlier at the Dambulla Cave Temple in Sri Lanka, because only a few hours later, she was dead. But the question of faith, and belief, is more relevant now than ever.
The artists responded to the evocative title using different forms of expression, including illustration, photography, neon art and furniture, asking themselves what it means to produce and exhibit art amidst the precariousness of daily life in Lebanon, a country dealing with great political and economic crisis.
Samer Bou Rjeily, Karen Chekerdjian, Hatem Imam, Sirine Fattouh, Gaïa Fodoulian, Paul Kaloustian, Nathalie Khayat, Hussein Nassereddine and Caroline Tabet are the artists and designers appearing in the exhibition, with works on display in the historic Tabbal Building on Beirut’s well-known Rue Sursock, in a dramatic installation designed by Ghaith&Jad. Each floor in the 1890 building has a central hall, corresponding to a triple arch on its façade: the heart of the home, the principal space where the family would meet and socialise, while the other rooms, including the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms, are accessed via this central space. This type of layout, common when the building was constructed, has now become synonymous with traditional Lebanese architecture, and the building was made a heritage site by the General Direction of Antiquities in 1999.
It is no coincidence that the exhibition should take place on the second floor of one of Beirut’s endangered heritage buildings, as it seeks in its own way to cast light on the city’s hidden scars and beauties, concretely appearing in the architectural make-up of the Tabbal Building: one of many buildings in the city’s architectural heritage that are often forgotten, but represent important key markers of the history of Beirut and its people. Protecting them preserves the memory of the city and of the people who live in it.
The exhibition, held in collaboration with MIRROS Communication as part of the #RevivingBeirutArtsCulture initiative in support of the arts and culture in Lebanon, devastated by the explosion, is open until Thursday, April 29, 2021. It is accompanied by a digital exhibition that can be viewed from anywhere in the world: a contemporary way of expanding the spirit of the AD Leb team, a non-profit organisation: “This project is more than just a gallery, it is a vital source of hope and connection…”
Everyone is the creator of one’s own faith exhibition, curated by Annie Vartivarian
April 8 through 29, 2021.
Tabbal Building, Beirut, Lebanon
More information: https://artdesignlebanon.com/
Images: Vartan Seraydarian – see legend
1) Tabbal Building, ph. Vartan Seraydarian