Lamia Joreige, Museum Crossing, 2013, Silkscreen, 12 1/4 x 17 3/8 in, 31 x 44 cm, edition of 17 plus 2 artist's proofs
Lamia Joreige: Lamia Joreige is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Beirut. She uses archival documents and fictional elements to reflect on the relationships between individual stories and collective history. Her practice is rooted in the possibilities of representation of the Lebanese wars and their aftermath, more specifically how this troubled past and present instability continues to affect Beirut and its people.
The works in Artes Mundi 7 all come under the title Under-Writing Beirut. Like a palimpsest, her work incorporates various layers of time and existence, creating links between the vestiges that record places, previous realities and the fiction that reinvents them. Underwriting Beirut is split into two interconnected exhibitions across both Artes Mundi sites - National Museum Cardiff and Chapter.
Under-writing Beirut – Mathaf (Museum), in the first chapter of this project Joreige focuses on the National Museum of Beirut. During wars, the museum’s building was destroyed and parts of its small, yet impressive, collection were severely damaged, looted, or lost. In Under-Writing Beirut – Mathaf (2013), Joreige addresses the inaccessibility of the museums stored and archived collections and questions the museum's place in national identity...
The only object made available to her from the museum archives was a damaged Roman Mosaic depicting the biblical story of the Good Shepherd, alongside photographic evidence of its damage. The mosaic had been struck by a sniper while preparing a strategic viewpoint from which to shoot onto the square outside the museum. What we see in the exhibition; – a re-enactment of the snipers line of sight, a concrete cast of the hole created by the sniper, the black and white pictograms ‘shot’ by pin hole camera from Lamia’s own apartment, a leather bound book that relates to the stories heard and unheard about the museum’s disappeared objects; reveals the complex story of a historical building and its collection in the broader context of Beirut’s troubled past.