All Mother Tongues are Difficult at Sfeir-Semler Gallery
3 April – 19 July
This original exhibition of Lebanese born artist Al Solh is the perfect treat for all those who are amazed by languages as a rich example of cultural diversity. The artist brings her own experiences up front, expressing her perspective through installations, videos, paintings, drawings and even embroideries. One of the main attractions of the exhibition is a new installation of Damascene clogs connected to the refugee movement from Syria to Lebanon, which allows visitors to experience cultural change expressed through ‘the nostalgic clomping sounds of the shoes that are falling out of use in favour of the standard flip-flop’.
Contre Nature at Beirut Art Center
22 May – 22 August
Revolving around the complex notion of ‘repair’, Contre Nature is unquestionably one of the top art exhibitions organised this summer in Lebanon. The exhibition features Algerian artist Kader Attia’s search for ‘what binds and separates nature and culture in different spaces and at different times’, a quest expressed in various forms and media, from sculptures and videos to slides photography and collage. One of the main creations of this unconventional exhibition is the video installation Mimesis as Resistance, featuring the special ability of the lyrebird to imitate surrounding sounds, including the noises of deforestation.
Syria’s Apex Generation at Ayyam Gallery
9 June – 2 August
Organised both in Beirut and Dubai, Syria’s Apex Generation is a group exhibition exploring how contemporary artists Nihad Al Turk, Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik, Othman Moussa, Mohannad Orabi, and Kais Salman are ‘responding to the current conflict in Syria through multifaceted works’. This very talented group of young Syrian painters came together during an incubator programme in 2007, an event that marked their creative path until the present time. Their current Beirut exhibition features ‘rich histories of expressionism, symbolism, and abstraction’ as part of these artists’ way of conveying the troubled social realities of their native land through art.
A Museum of Immortality at Ashkal Alwan
11 June – 18 July
Part of the third edition of the Home Workspace Programme, led by professors Jalal Toufic and Anton Vidokle, this exhibition brings to Beirut the projects of over 50 artists from various mediums, including film and architecture. A Museum of Immortality finds its conceptual point of departure under the guidance of historian Boris Groys, who attempts to recreate a museum as ‘a machine for making things immortal’, a perspective envisaged by Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov in the late 19th century.
I Am the Two Moons at Art Factum Gallery
25 June – 26 July
Art Factum Gallery brings to Lebanon the exhibition I Am the Two Moons of Italian artist Claudia Scarsella envisaged by the creator itself as ‘a romantic encounter between myself and the Middle East; I’m absorbing, filtering, sewing what I see in an interior panorama of precise composition and geometry. It’s the map of an immobile butterfly’. The artist expresses this very particular vision through traditional and digital collages created from her own drawings and photos, all creating a well-defined patterns, aspiring to create distinct worlds through art.
Bridge to Palestine at Beirut Exhibition Center
26 June – 3 August
Envisaged as a ‘cultural dialogue between generations of artists and geographical locations: the East and West, Ramallah, Gaza and Jerusalem’, Bridge to Palestine is an unmissable event for anyone with an interest in the Middle-East’s past decades of troubled history. The exhibition brings to surface the vision of 18 artists on one of the most acute geopolitical issues in the region. Their perspectives are expressed through sculptures, new media, photography, installations and paintings, contemplating the ‘bittersweet taste of longing for something forbidden’.
Beirut Art Fair
18 – 21 September
Early autumn Beirut becomes a top location for art lovers as Lebanon’s capital hosts the Beirut Art Fair, a major event during which visitors have the chance of seeing great exhibitions from around the world. Enjoying the participation of 45 galleries from 14 countries and an audience of over 18,000 visitors in 2013, this art fair became ‘a lever of the artistic life in Lebanon’ bringing to the public a multitude of must-see exhibitions featuring art in all its shapes from paintings, sculptures, installations, to video or photography.
Art from Lebanon at Beirut Exhibition Center
25 October – 9 December
Conceived as story of heritage, Art from Lebanon ‘narrates the story of modern and contemporary art in Lebanon and presents to the public the marvels of this country’. A major event on Lebanon’s cultural agenda for 2014, this exhibition offers visitors an unparalleled occasion to discover the creations of the most important 60 Lebanese artists from 1880 to 1975. Moreover, this rich art collection provides unique insights not only into ‘Lebanon’s many political, social, and cultural vicissitudes, but also the constructive changes and evolutions, that marked and shaped the country as we know it today’.