This event has passed.
  • Wednesday Apr 17 2013 from 06:00 pm until 09:00 pm
  • Thursday Apr 18 2013 until Saturday Apr 20 2013 from 10:00 am until 07:00 pm
  • Tuesday Apr 23 2013 until Saturday Apr 27 2013 from 10:00 am until 07:00 pm
  • Tuesday Apr 30 2013 until Saturday May 04 2013 from 10:00 am until 07:00 pm
  • Tuesday May 07 2013 until Saturday May 11 2013 from 10:00 am until 07:00 pm
  • Tuesday May 14 2013 until Wednesday May 15 2013 from 10:00 am until 07:00 pm
  • Janine Rubeiz Gallery, 1 Avenue Charles De Gaulle, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Exhibitions, Arts & Culture

Pellicula - a group exhibition by Gregory Buchakjian - Bassam Geitani - Francois Sargologo and Hanibal Srouji

Opening on Wednesday April 17 starting 6 pm in the presence of the artists

Exhibition runs till May 15, 2013

In 1920, American photographer and painter Man Ray composed Elevage de poussière (Dust Breeding) an enigmatic picture in which one can see linear traces in a sandy desert. Yet Elevage de poussière is not an aerial landscape, it is a still life, as Man Ray placed his camera over an artwork, Marcel Duchamp’s La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even). Also known as The Large Glass, the piece – that afterwards became an icon of Modern Art - was at that time unfinished. It was laid horizontally untouched for a year, so that it collected a large amount of dust. Man Ray’s two-hour-long exposure captures an accumulation of waste composed of tiny particles and pellicles.

According to the Oxford dictionary, pellicle [pɛlɪk(ə)l] designates “a thin skin, cuticle, membrane, or film”. Pellicle is one of the derivatives of Latin pellicula. Others include película (Spanish) and pellicule (French) that designate a roll of film (in both languages) and a movie (in Spanish). A single word is associated to a material that was for more than a century – till the advent of the digital age, the main medium for producing photographs, and to almost microscopic cutaneous particles that may crumble into crust. Let’s not forget that pellicule (French) also means dandruff.

Photographs are therefore confronted to the menace of dismantling into rubbles and eventually disappearing. Among of the favorite topics in early photography were ruins. During the 19th century, practitioners traveled across the Mediterranean with their heavy apparatus, documenting monuments of Egypt, Greece and Ancient Near East. Could these pioneers have imagined that what was then a new media would shortly be exposed to ruin?

The Pellicula exhibition at the Galerie Janine Rubeiz raises the question of the fragmentation and dissolution of images as well as the memories they can carry, through multidisciplinary approaches involving painting, sculpture, writing, archaeology and, of course, photography.

Leningrad exposes touristic views of the city in what was once the USSR found in the rubble of a Beirut apartment: Stereo mounted slides have faded and shifted towards reddish / pink tone and postcards have amalgamated, after a bomb explosion, with various material (sand, debris, feathers).

Less dramatic – at least apparently - is the effect of time in François Sargologo’s Au-delà de la Mer (Beyond the Sea). This collection of photographs and narratives is, in Neda Koleilat Doany’s words, “a meditative exploration of the impermanence of life and the persistence of memory” and fragile fragments that transpose the viewer into the uncertain memory of an undefined past.

Undefined and unclear also apply to the flock of children to appear in anamorphosis on the glowing silver cone / threatening bombshell constructed by Bassam Geitani. Ronde contrasts between the undefined jagged treatment of the components of the supposed image and the slick finish of its polished reflective center.

Associating fire and acrylic on canvas, Hanibal Srouji, in his Circles, generates a heterogeneous texture by fixing the debris of burnt cotton, carbon, graphite and colored pencil dust on canvas. His unframed and riven disks float on the wall as if they were infinitely enormous planets or infinitely small aggregates of pellicles, fleeting images, memories, in a state of disintegration.

Gregory Buchakjian
The author wishes to acknowledge Seloua Luste Boulbina.

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