Lebanese Pavilion – 55th Biennale di Venezia. June 1st – November 24th 2013

Lebanese Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale
May 19, 2013 3:18PM

Akram Zaatari to represent the Lebanese pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2013 in Venice - 1st June - 24th November 2013

Curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath have selected internationally acclaimed Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari to represent Lebanon at the Biennale Arte 2013 in Venice.

Rita Nammour, the president of The Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL), the commissioning body for the Lebanese Pavilion, observed: “Akram’s artistic practice over the last two decades has contributed significantly to the discourse around the role of the photographic archive in contemporary artistic production. We are very excited about his selection and eagerly anticipating the reveal of the new work that we have commissioned him to present in Venice.”

Akram Zaatari's work is centered on the research and study of existing documents, examining the present through past photographic records. His work reflects the shifting nature of borders and the production and circulation of images in the context of the current political divisions in the Middle East. His videos and photographic installations explore technologies of image production, communication and the notions of surveillance, to understand the way different media are used in the service of power, resistance, and memory.

In commenting on their choice, the curators said: “The work that Akram will be presenting in Venice, while rooted in a local incident, transcends regional boundaries and touches upon issues that are universal in their reach and implications. Our decision to commission Akram to realize this project results from the fact that it operates along an axis of interrogation that sits within the same vein of criticality that we had in mind for the pavilion itself.”

The pavilion occupies a prime location within the “Arsenale”, immediately adjacent to the principal exhibition organized by the Artistic Director, and will be on view throughout the duration of the Biennale Arte 2013 in Venice from June 1 until November 24, 2013.

As one of Lebanon's leading artists, Zaatari recognizes the challenges that come with producing work for a national pavilion. "I am continuously haunted by the different subjects, characters and figures that I have dealt with in my work in the past” he explained. "They often reappear in my life and manage to find a way into later works like the one that I will be presenting in Venice. Conceived as a theater of limitless possibilities, this new multimedia installation will act as a space of encounter where strangers from different worlds find themselves on stage face-to- face." 

Lebanese Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale