Lamia Joreige – Uncertain Times

Lamia Joreige
Uncertain Times
08 November 2022 - 27 January 2023

The exhibition Uncertain Times involves the research, writing and production of a body of work covering the period between the end of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of the French and English mandate in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine (1914- 1920). The Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour Declaration, as well as the First World War and the famine of Mount Lebanon, which caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, led to a geographic, social and political transformation of this region, and had major consequences that still impact our lives today.

It is precisely today’s feeling of anxiety and uncertainty in our region, which triggered the artist’s interest in looking back at this turning point in history — a moment of rupture, of fragmentation and creation at once.

Lamia Joreige’s work on the Lebanese Wars (1975-1990) and the post-war period in Beirut, was the beginning of a reflection on history and its possible narratives. In this project, she extends her research to a more distant period of our history, of which we have no direct experience but that nevertheless still affect our present.

While the artist highlights some historical events, her aim is not to produce a historical account in itself, but rather to draw a reflection on historical processes, as well as on notions of temporality from which we understand the past, present, and the future—the uncertain times. For that, Joreige is not only interested in the different subjective stories of this period and wishes to express the tensions and anxieties, but also the expectations felt by the population of that time.

The first iteration of this project, Uncertain Times – Mapping a Transformation was presented in the Istanbul Biennial in September 2022

This exhibition comprises a series of mixed media artworks that assembles various elements such as drawings, archival photographs and documents as well as her commentary in the form of personal texts, thus creating visual and textual correspondences. In this project, like in her previous works, the artist gives a central place to the notion of montage.

Alongside Uncertain Times, the artist will present for the first time in Lebanon her short video Sun and Sea made at the invitation of Etel Adnan for her first poem written in French in 1949.

Exhibition views by Youssef Itani