Friday

15 December 2017

Akram Zaatari (born in Lebanon, 1966) lives and works in Beirut. As co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, Zaatari is deeply invested in examining how photography served to shape notions of aesthetics, postures and social codes, therefore looking at the present through a wealth of past photographic records from the Middle East. Zaatari has been focusing since 1999 on the archive of Studio Shehrazade in Saida (Lebanon) studying, indexing, and presenting the work of photographer Hashem el Madani (1928 -) as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices.
Zaatari is author of more than 40 videos such as “Nature Morte” (2008), “In this House” (2005), This Day (2003), All is well on the Border (1997). A section of his work addressed sex practices among men in Lebanon’s current society, particularly in Crazy of You (1997) and How I love You (2001).

 

Nature Morte, 2008
Video, 11 min
Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir Semler Gallerie, Beirut

Akram  Zaatari's Nature Morte is a recording of a silent moment, in which two men prepare themselves for a military action. At the end, the older one leaves with a weapon on his shoulder, and the younger decides to stay. The video opens with the two seating in a dreary room. Nature Morte – a deliberately self-conscious montage of still images, current and archival footage from news broadcasts and propaganda films, as well as recorded interviews with former resistant fighters and prisoners – bears witness to multiple perspectives on the nature of resistance.

 


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