Albareh Art Gallery presents “Cityphilia” a solo exhibition by Lebanese artist Zena Assi.
To portrait the metropolis, the city, or any urban space nowadays, one has to involve the social, cultural, political angle and to acknowledge a factor of compressed dynamics and pauses, silences and energies, that make the architecture seems vitally, soulfully human. While trying to shape our environment, with its regulations, requirements, and agreements, we end up being shaped ourselves by the structure we’ve built, conformed to its dimensions …
In this collection, Zena is trying to portray the intertwined relation between the society and its spatial frame, the absurd bond between the city and its inhabitants. According to her ”to be able to put a city like Beirut on canvas, one should take into consideration the layers of its history and heritage, the complexity of its social organizations, the diversity of its cultures, and the peculiarity of its universality… in an attempt to finally convey the soul and spirit of its cityscapes”.
In this exhibition the artist is trying to find the physical similarity between a citizen of Beirut and the city itself; a certain reciprocal dependency between the capital and its inhabitants… through which, she finds the point where they merge, lose their singularities and end up forming this body of matter that forms a whole with no definable shape. And also she raises some questions throughout her work for the audience to consider and think about; Is it a convergence phenomenon, or a contagious one? Is it the result of an artificial product of administrated modern life or just a search for identity? Is it orchestrated or unconscious?
Assi believes that there is a certain debt man has to pay over the years to the city he lives in… an ancient pact that ties the two of them, a certain unspoken deal that each will fulfill his pledge when the other is in need…
And so this show will reveal the fact that each person in this world breathes his city, takes roots from it, have it under his skin and all over his being… have his feet on its grounds but always his head in its clouds…
Born in 1974, Lebanon, Zena Assi lives and works in Beirut. She graduated with honors from l’Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in advertising, worked in the field for two years and taught in different universities. Her contemporary work on canvas, that draws inspiration from the relations and conflicts between the individual and his environment, has been part of numerous collective and solo exhibitions in Beirut, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. She received two awards in 2009, and was auctioned in Sotheby’s London in 2010.
The exhibition will open on Tuesday 4th of January, 2011, at 7.00 pm and will run until 27th of January, 2011 at Albareh Art Gallery in Adliya. Albareh Art Gallery is open Saturday to Thursday, from 10.00am -8.00pm.
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Tel.: +973 1771 7707
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