11 May 2011
There are no ruins here
curated by Mirene Arsanios
I have heard stories 1 (2008), video (stills)
There are no ruins here is a film and video program that looks at the way interiors- living rooms, hotel rooms, and family houses- were affected, in more or less tangible ways, by the Lebanese civil wars and their aftermath.
In its singular and lived architecture, the interior of an apartment is depicted as the material trace of a past time superimposed with the present (Colin Whitaker), or as the witness of a crime scene that needs to be revisited in order to be elucidated (Marwa Arsanios). In Merely a Smell, Maher Abi Samra films the material destruction caused by the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, which literally abolishes what separates the interior of a living space and its exterior. The video is a cinematic meditation on the corpse and the impossibility of representing it. Danielle Arbid looks at the social and gendered use of Lebanese living rooms and what such spaces generate in terms of conversations. The Last Home Movie, filmed in 1987 by Jennifer Fox, concludes the program by documenting the day-to-day life of an aristocratic Lebanese family in their house as they go through the civil war (1975-1990).
Suffering the consequences of a war, in its everyday usage, or as a space of projections and fantasies, the interior and its architecture is a dialogical space that negotiates between private stories and the broader sphere of history and the public.
Maher Abi Samra, Merely a Smell, 2007, 10:00
Danielle Arbid, Conversations de Salon 1,2,3, 2004, 28:50
Marwa Arsanios, I have heard stories, 1, 2008, 4:42
Colin Whitaker, Phantasy Beirut, 2011, 10:00
Jennifer Fox, The Last Home Movie, 1987, 123:00
Films and videos are in original version with English subtitles.