E-FLUX: Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige: Two Suns in a Sunset
October 26, 2016
Haus der Kunst
“We are storytellers,” the artist duo Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige says of themselves, and they tell their stories through photography and film, as well as installation and performance. The common thread running through their work is the recent history and contemporary history of Lebanon and Beirut. Both artists were born in Beirut in 1969; they grew up in the city during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), confronted with constant insecurity, violence and frequent relocation, but also images and representations of those moments.
The artistic practice of Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige is in the words of Okwui Enwezor, “a meditation on the status and the nature of the images, the way images travel through the world, the way they infiltrate and embed themselves in our historical consciousness.” “We are coming from a minor position where you always have to use a strategy to be able to be seen differently, but also to be able to see again,” says Khalil Joreige. The artist duo’s strong interest in archive and documentation material is not an isolated case in the Beirut art scene. However, while other Lebanese artists notice the accelerated loss of memory, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige think there are not too few, but rather too many images and memories. Their strategy for dealing with the existing stock of material is the combination of documentary and fiction, and the reactivation of the past in the present.
The exhibition establishes thematic, conceptual and formal bridges between their works, allowing visitors to travel among the artists’ various investigations and experiments from the late 1990s to the present day. It follows many thematic threads: images affected by war and violence; missing and lasting images; a forgotten Lebanese space program from the 1960s; the recent body of work focuses on the virtuality of internet spams and scams and addresses beliefs, the imagery of corruption and a strange historiography of the world; lately they have explored poetic routes immersing themselves into questions of transmission of history and the shifting of bodies, borders, and notions of belonging with two new films, Remembering the Light and ISMYRNA (in conversation with Etel Adnan) .
The exhibition is coproduced by Sharjah Art Foundation, Jeu de Paume, Paris, Haus der Kunst, Munich and Institut Valencià d’Art Modern. Curators: Hoor Al Qasimi (Sharjah Art Foundation), Marta Gili (Jeu de Paume), Anna Schneider (Haus der Kunst), José Miguel G. Cortés (Institut Valencià d’Art Modern)
The catalogue Two Suns in a Sunset / Se souvenir de la lumière, ed. by Hoor Al Qasimi, includes contributions by Hoor Al Qasimi, Philippe Azoury, Omar Berrada, José Miguel G. Cortés, Okwui Enwezor, Marta Gili, Boris Groys, Nat Muller, Anna Schneider and Brian Kuan Wood; English / French / Arabic.
Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige
Two Suns in a Sunset
October 28, 2016–February 12, 2017
Haus der Kunst
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