Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to announce Ziad Antar’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and the artist's first solo in Belgium. The exhibition will be comprised of photographs and videos offering a unique glimpse at Antar's latest works alongside an overview of the artist's oeuvre to date.
Ziad Antar’s artistic creation is manifested through the constraints he has imposed upon himself: the constraints related to the mediums used, the views adopted and spaces questioned by the artist.
In the face of the porosity of boundaries, his discourse aims to inscribe itself in a dynamic interaction of places, cultures, memories and disciplines. These boundaries are always present in his photographs, videos and sculptures, yet how does he manage to address, through multiple back-and-forth movements, the outside space (public space) and the inside space (private space), past and present, otherness and identity? It is through this interaction that boundaries are opened up, that all identity processes turn towards the unsettling of national and regional boundaries, that governing bodies crumble before the dissemination of signs and artistic discourse.
In addition to new and never before exhibited works from the series ‘Cactus’, ‘Intensive Beirut’ and ‘Lebanese Policemen’, the show will include the videos ‘WA’ (2004), ‘Des Oliviers’ (2013) and ‘Saïda’ (2013) as well as works from previous series entitled ‘Beirut Bereft’, ‘Portrait of a territory’ and ‘Expired’.
In the series 'Beirut Bereft' Antar explores Beirut's abandoned and functionless buildings scarred by the traces of war and signs of a failing state. The series is based on a collaboration with the writer Rasha Salti who was documenting and mapping the city's carcasses of abandoned buildings. After an encounter between the writer and the artist in 2006 the project took shape with Antar visually documenting the buildings of Beirut.
'Portrait of a territory' was created while on residency at the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2012 and documents the impact that man and the discovery of oil and its accompanying affluence has had on the landscape of the United Arab Emirates. In a systematic way Ziad Antar photographed the coastline of the different emirates, exploring the phenomenal boom in real estate development and man-altered landscapes.
'Expired' was presented in 2014 at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône and consists of photographs taken using expired black-and-white films discovered in the old workshop of Lebanese photographer Hashem El Madani. Taken with the use of an equally obsolete camera, the films, which expired in 1976, produced nuanced and unpredictable anomalies that enrich the subject matter recorded.
Ziad Antar (born in 1978, Lebanon) currently divides his time between Paris and Beirut. Antar obtained a degree in agricultural engineering at the American University of Beirut before focusing on photography, video and the arts through a residency at the Palais de Tokyo (2003) and a post-graduate diploma from the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (2003). The artist has been included in a number of group exhibitions such as 'La Triennale - Intense Proximité', Palais de Tokyo (2012); 'Suspended Space', Centre Pompidou (2011); the Venice Biennale (2011); 'Here and Elsewhere', The New Museum, New York (2009); and 'Projection of WA', Tate Modern, London (2008). In 2012 he was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Sharjah Art Foundation curated by Christine Macel. In 2013 and 2014 Ziad Antar presented solo exhibitions at La Criée centre d'art contemporain and the Musée Nicéphore Niépce, respectively.