PRINT October 2006

T. J. Demos

Lamia Joreige, Here and Perhaps Elsewhere, 2003, still from a color videos, 54 minutes.

THE EXHIBITION “OUT OF BEIRUT” opened innocently enough last spring. Organized by Modern Art Oxford curator Suzanne Cotter in collaboration with Christine Tohme, director of Ashkal Alwan, the Beirut-based arts organization, the survey promised an exciting profile of contemporary Lebanese art and another chapter in the story of its growing international reputation. The work of fifteen artists and the anonymous collective Heartland would be on view for two months, accompanied by a program of seven films and symposia featuring prominent speakers such as curator Catherine David and architect Bernard Khoury, whose work is also included in the show. As part of a veritable cultural renaissance taking place in Beirut following the country’s fifteen-year civil war, Lebanese artists have generated an influential array of work that reconsiders the nature of photographic documentation and

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