How Soon is Now: A Tribute to Dreamers. The show includes projects from 1997 to 2012. Through photographs, installations, objects and videos, the artists question the process of image making, the preservation of historical traces, and the role of imagination and dreams in shaping a possible shared narrative today.
Ashkal Alwan and the Beirut Exhibition Center present How Soon is Now: A Tribute to Dreamers, the first solo exhibition of Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige in Beirut. While not a retrospective, the show includes projects from 1997 to 2012 that underscore the artists’ ongoing research on the image and representation of the present. Through photographs, installations, objects and videos, Hadjithomas and Joreige question the process of image making, the preservation of historical traces, and the role of imagination and dreams in shaping a possible shared narrative today.
Earlier works included by Hadjithomas and Joreige such as Equivalences (1997), Circle of Confusion (1997), and Rounds (2001) explore personal and communal relationships to the city, its transformation, destruction and reconstruction, as well as its representation. Others like Lasting Images (2003), 180 Seconds of Lasting Images (2006), and Latent Images, part of the project Wonder Beirut (1997-2006), are concerned with strategies of imaging, the revelation of images through hidden and latent traces, and the conditions under which such imagery is made visible.
Hadjithomas and Joreige also present their most recent project, Lebanese Rocket Society, an exploration of an Armenian-Lebanese space program initiated in the 1960s that successfully launched the first regional rocket. Founded by Manoug Manougian, a professor of math and physics at Haigazian University, along with students, the society soon incorporated civil engineers and experts from the Lebanese Army. Between 1960 and 1967, at the time of the space race, revolutionary ideas, and Pan-Arabism, more than ten increasingly large Cedar rockets were designed, produced, and launched into the Lebanese sky. Lebanese Rocket Society ponders the absence of this program from our collective memory, shedding light on our perceptions of the past and present – and our imagination of the future.
How Soon is Now: A Tribute to Dreamers testifies to Hadjithomas and Joreige’s quest for new perspectives. It relays their attempts at poetizing reality through photography, by engaging the viewer, and through the reenactment of certain moments as a tribute to dreamers, in order to find, as French philosopher Gilles Deleuze put forth, “reasons to believe in this world”.
Hadjithomas Joana and Joreige Khalil are Lebanese filmmakers and artists. Together, they have directed documentaries such as Khiam 2000-2007 (2008) and El Film el Mafkoud (The Lost Film, 2003), and feature films including Al Bayt el Zaher (The Pink House, 1999) and A Perfect Day (2005). Their last feature film Je veux voir (I want to see), starring Catherine Deneuve and Rabih Mroué, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 in the Un Certain Regard section and was granted the Best Singular Film Award by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics that year. Hadjithomas and Joreige have created numerous photographic and video installations, among which are: Faces (2009), Lasting Images (2004), Distracted Bullets (2005), Circle of Confusion (1997), Don’t Walk (2000-2004), War Trophies (2006-2007), Landscapes of Khiam (2007), A Faraway Souvenir (2007) and the multi-format project Wonder Beirut (1996-2007). Their artwork has been shown in many museums, biennials and art centers around the world, most recently at the 10th Sharjah Biennale (2011) and the 11thBiennale de Lyon (2011), where they presented part of their latest project, Lebanese Rocket Society. They are currently completing a feature documentary on the Lebanese space program. Hadjithomas and Joreige have authored numerous publications and lectured at universities in Lebanon and across Europe. They are Board Members of Metropolis Cinema and Co-founders of Abbout Productions along with Georges Schoucair. Hadjithomas is also a Curriculum Committee Member of Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program.
For more info: www.hadjithomasjoreige.com
Beirut Exhibition Center
New Waterfront Beirut Lebanon
Opening hours: daily 11AM - 8PM