"On Guarding Neighborhoods and their Inhabitants"
Marwan Rechmaoui will discuss the artistic approach of urban territories. Kaelen Wilson-Goldie has proposed the following formula: Mapped out: to think of Marwan Rechmaoui as a Landscape Painter.
Marwan RECHMAOUI has produced new intersections between the field of art and architecture and the territories also revealing new political and social issues. It's about reconnecting with skills of art, often underestimated, to address the contemporary situations of the territories, and discuss together how and how these practices can help us address the issue of the Bekaa.
Blazon came from the intense research that I had started ten years prior for Beirut Caoutchouc by reading the records of every neighborhood in order to understand how they developed and the details of their geographical location. Constantly evolving, Beirut is charming, friendly and hospitable but paradoxically filled with tensions in social, economical and political arenas. Its inhabitants are always “on guard” ready for something to happen and gaps between the neighborhoods are becoming wider with rising pressures.
About the speaker:
Marwan Rechmaoui, deriving inspiration from the geography and rich cultural history of Beirut, Rechmaoui’s work often reflects themes of urbanization and contemporary social and behavioural demographics. He uses industrial materials such as concrete, rubber, tar and glass to create tactile works on a large scale. His works have primarily focused on local landmarks, such as Beirut Caoutchouc (2004), a sprawling map of Beirut made of black rubber and embossed with precise details of roads and byways. Rechmaoui’s other major works include Spectre (2006), a reproduction of the modernist Yacoubian Building, A Monument for the Living (2001), a large-scale architectural model of the derelict Burj Al Murr replicates a never-completed, abandoned 1970s high-rise, which towers over downtown Beirut. In 2011, Rechmaoui debuted his UNRWA series, which included hand drawn maps on concrete, wood, and tin of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and a series of found objects exposing different cluster munitions collected after the 2006 war in Lebanon, as well as the crew whose efforts helped gather these clusters. Rechmaoui’s Pillars (2013-2016) tackle the theme of deconstruction/reconstruction with an installation of domestic objects – various materials collected from crumbled ruins of a residential building - embedded in a concrete pillar; a basic structural element in urban architecture. Flowers, pillows, among other decorative items reflect the burden of the past.