Beirut is defiantly carving out a space of its own as the region’s cultural capital. Bringing together a staggering 50 galleries from 18 different countries, this year’s Beirut Art Fair is championing young, emerging Arab artists.
One of the fair’s most exciting sections, entitled REVEALING, will showcase work by Lebanese artists Balsam Abo Zour, Nadim Choufi, Lynn Kodeih, Hussein Nassereddine, Ieva Saudargaite Douaihi and Cristiana De Marchi as well Palestinian artist Yusef Audeh, Algerian artist Maya-Ines Touam, Moroccan artist Ghita Skali, and Hadi Fallahpisheh.
Some highlights include, Touam (whose best known for her still life photography) who will be exhibiting a photographic body of work that incorporates Algerian symbology. While video artist Skali (winner of the 2017 Al Mawred Al Thaqafi award for young arab artists) explores themes of technology, examining its relationship with nature in an effort to analyse surveillance in Morocco.
“This 2019 edition aims to draw stronger than ever bridges between countries and continents” says Beirut Art Fair’s artistic director Joanna Abou Sleiman-Chevalier in an interview. “We plan to broaden our horizons and present an even wider panel of renowned and promising artists to an ever-growing international public.”
Curated by Rachel Dedman, an independent curator based between London and Beirut, the brief given to the artists was vague and didn’t restrict them in any way. Something which Dedman insists is key to allowing them to create their own narrative. “There is no unifying theme to the platform. However, each artist’s work reflects—and in many case addresses—the range of personal, political and socio-economic conditions in which we live today across the MENA region”, she explains, “In this sense, REVEALING bears witness to some of the urgencies and issues governing society, and the interests shaping artistic practice.”
Beirut Art Fair, September 18-22, Beirut, Lebanon