Sirine Fattouh

A Night In Beirut


Video installation

Beirut, Lebanon

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

“Sirine Fattouh’s inquisitive eye creates a hulling atmosphere of seemingly ordinary surroundings while constantly raising pressing political and social questions to those who are the least heard and given voice to. In one of her early videos, A Night in Beirut, the artist follows a man in a white robe, “El Tabbal” [1] , for the first time after years of hearing him but never seeing his face during her childhood spent in Beirut before mov- ing to Paris. Fattouh explains the trigger for this video was to put a face on a voice that was once a terrifying and mystic sound that broke sharply during the nights of the holy month of Ramadan, creating numerous fantasy stories in the minds of young children. The sobriety of treatment in the video hits like a poignant reality; stripped from any aesthetic manipulation, it brings out an eerie space accentuated by the obscurity of the surroundings but also by the abstruseness of the act itself in a place and time marked by “modernization”. Close up shots reveal the artist’s desire to identify and expose this mysterious gure in his hypnotic circular track; the person facing the camera looks like a simple man who’s familiarity with the lmed neighborhood and its inhabitants conveys a nostalgic lens, acting as a documentary that wishes to archive the memory of disappearing rituals and with it the dissipation of recognizable elements of everyday life in a changed city.”

Mayssa Fattouh

[1] El Tabbal is the one who passes in the city streets with a drum to invite the inhabitants to wake-up have breakfast and pray to prepare for a new day of fasting.


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About the Artist

Sirine Fattouh (b. 1980) is a visual artist based between Paris, France and Beirut, Lebanon. She holds a PhD in Visual Arts and Aesthetics from Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and and a National Superior Diploma of Expression of Plastic Arts (DNSEP) from l’École Nationale Supérieure of Paris Cergy (ENSAPC) . Drawing on oral history accounts, her practice explores the representation of personal and collective histories through different mediums. Her most recent work employs illustration sculpture, and installation to deconstruct gender and queer identities. She has shown her work at Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris, France (2017), Centre Pompidou, Metz, France (2018); MAXXI Museum, Rome, Italy (2017); Beirut Art Center, Lebanon (2017); Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem), Marseille, France (2016); Institut du monde arabe, Paris, France (2015); and the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece (2011).

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