Saturday, August 29, 2009

Akram Zaatari: Sfeir-Semler Gallery and Beirut Art Center, Beirut

from the article,

‘Earth of Endless Secrets’ performs the difficulties of directly accessing the histories and testimonies of war, occupation and resistance. Though due partly to logistical constraints, holding the exhibition in separate venues (between which there are formal parallels) enacts how fractured histories only become knowable once the impossibility of accessing them is acknowledged. Although, in some instances ‘Earth of Endless Secrets’ emanates a kind of flattening effect whereby a fraught history is organized into too clean-cut terms, the gestures of secret letters and testimonial remains also, however, makes Zaatari’s interventions seem akin to arranging fossils (images of found shells, the capsule letter, the bombed-out hills he shot as a teenager, even the fictive videos, all act like imprints). They do this without making lofty, authoritative claims.


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