Tag Archives: Beirut

Might be a solution to the refugee’s crisis?

I was asked about what triggered my dream in the previous post . Here is the article that got me super excited and inspired . However my  dream  had it’s roots in a visit done last summer to Sfeir Semler Galllery. Bernard Khoury and Walid Raad’s hole in the ground museum proposal was fantastic , honestly if I had a piece of land I would have donated it, with no hesitation, for digging that hole!

My dream might remain a dream but I felt like sharing it …. Btw I’d like to make it very clear  I am not endorsing in any way  or promoting this company Arcona , far from that! Could be the greatest idea or biggest scam … I don’t think they are the only ones 3D mapping the world and adding an augmented reality layer to it … So many companies are building similar platforms I am not sure which is the best one, let me know if you have any idea!… I  just felt like sharing my dream and that coin i designed. :)!

Crossing my fingers for Lebanon to have its locally designed platform to provide artists architects ,advertisers etc  or whoever is interested in this amazing core technology. The applications are enormous. It could be the solution to Lebanon’s refugees crisis. Imagine 3D mapping Syria and providing all the refugees with a way of visiting every inch of their hometown , where they can start  imagining their future city. Great way to encourage  and give them incentive to go back and start a new future don’t you think?  BTW  AUB is hosting UXB 2018 – Lebanon’s first global UX event.

 

 

My virtual dream…

A huge soap bubble, my own version of Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine pavillion(2015)

Beirut ! Such a vibrant creative zone. Not that I am an expert on that , I am still trying to catch up with the lebanese art scene .( TAP is a great place to start!)
Lebanon has so many wonderful artists whose work revolves around war, I don’t get it, why is the maison jaune /Beit Beirut( the war/memorial  museum in Beirut) still empty!!???

While those in charge of Beit Beirut are trying to reach a consensus to agree on what is supposed to be there , someone on the other side of the planet is busy 3D mapping the whole world . Others  are busy selling virtual land using blockchain technology to buyers who can build anything from the most basic sculpture to the most complexe augmented reality experience you can ever think of!

We live in a fantastic world. Now almost any dream can come true at least in the virtual/augmented  reality space !
Imagine buying the virtual plot of la maison jaune and filling it with works of our very talented artists.

Virtual tresspassing you might think. Ok forget about the maison jaune, choose another virtual location, preferably one of the most contentious zone in Lebanon , and build the virtual war museum on it. Call that one , maison rouge, add an extension , a hole , Bernard Khoury’s hole in the ground museum.  Voila! Lebanon could have it’s state of the art contemporary art/war museum with all the augmented reality you can think of, it could be built in no time at a fraction of the cost of a real one.
And one day hopefully , the digital curator hand in hand with a human curator will enable the virtual project to  morph into reality! Virtual or real, offering a space where every voice could be heard regardless of which side of the war you were on, a place that would open the dialogue, so necessary for healing, understanding and forgiving… Having said all that , I sometimes wonder , should we really keep looking back to the past?  Forget and keep on going . At times I am totally with this opinion. I reserve the right to contradict myself , lebanese are known to be masters of contradictions:)!! So  I go through stages, this happens automatically , when I’m in Beirut I shift gears . It happens unconsciously. The thing is , something in this country forces you to keep looking back . I guess it’s because nothing really changed in the political power structure of the country and so to understand the present you definitely need to understand the past.

Sorry guys to disappoint you . My dream has nothing to do with the lebanese election which is supposed to take place tomorrow. Tomorrow happens to be Martyrs’ Day too!

The fabric passed the test !

Late night at Sursock Late night at Sursock 150x120cm Mixed media over Digital Print on Hahnemuhle photo rag bright white 310 gsm mounted on Dibon

A few more final touches for “Late night at Sursock” and it’s done! A collaborative mixed media work involving embroidery/weaving by people from different parts in Lebanon inspired by the tensions in the art world.  Gathering back all the pieces in one work symbolizes my belief that it is throught art and institutions like Sursock that Lebanese will be pulled together!  Special thanks to all the people who collaborated and made this project possible: Sana from Zouk, Lillie and her family from Baakline, Arpi and Anahid from Badguèr in Bourj Hamoud, Zeina and her team at Khan el Franj Saida, Safa and Anouane from Sour , Melissa from Jounieh Zorica from Batroun( for helping me find Melissa!), Eric Mona and Shahinaz of Tara W Kheit in tripoli,Hala and her team at Barjis, Ziad and his team at Inaash , Rabih from Mlikh Jezzine, Daria from Adonis , Fida from Aley, Dalal from Bekaa, Suheir at Decoratex, Bilal and Anny at Lollipop for the wonderful Dibond, Ibrahim at Palladium for his professional technical guidance and providing me with paper samples to do glue tests, and Melki for the 100% natural canvas and silk threads! For those who thought I was using a synthetic canvas the proof is in the video below! The fabric passed the 100% natural test as when burned, it crumbled between my fingers like powder and the burned edges were soft.

The fabric passed the test! from roula sorour on Vimeo.

Work in progress : Late night at Sursock 

I have been recently asked about ” Late night at Sursock” and whether it is still a work in progress. The answer is yes , because i am still looking for people to participate in the project. As i mentioned in a previous post i was in london when sursock museum opened its doors. I didn’t quite know what to expect . But i finally visited sursock museum and all my doubts disappeared. It is quite breathtaking to say the least. From the architecture to the restoration of the premises, to their permanent collection of Lebanese art, to Assadour’s retrospective, Ali Cherri’s touching exhibition and the oud player on thursday nights, everything was simply perfect. Unlike the elitist etiquette it was carrying in the past, the new sursock is a museum with such a varied rich program that one can safely say : finally Lebanon has a great modern and contemporary museum that is for all Lebanese.

It is more than clear to me that it is through the arts , and institutions like sursock museum in particular,that the Lebanese will be pulled together.
That’s exactly why i chose people from all walks of life, all over lebanon to work on bits of my above design in their preferred medium : embroidery, crochet, nawl ,patchwork, etc
Later all the parts would be gathered to form back the original picture ,symbolising our desire to stay united as a nation despite the storms surrounding us.

My thanks to each and everyone who is helping me on the project!
I am quite excited to see the final result.

Work in progress, my version of Courbet’s The Meeting (Bonjour Monsieur Courbet)

Inspired by Courbet's The Meeting Inspired by Courbet’s The Meeting[/caption]

I was in london the day Sursock museum reopened it’s doors , how exciting ! It must have been so festive and fun to be there! After years of renovation , now it’s up and running and I can’t wait to visit ! That same night I couldn’t help imagining an artist at the reception, rising above all the criticism that was being showered on her by curators collectors patrons and art experts!
Few weeks later I came across the below  article by  a very respectable art critic, where Courbet’s  painting was mentioned. What a coincidence! Turned out artist meeting art patron had been done before.  The roles of star and supplicant have been reversed it’s true but some artists and hopefully a majority remain as confident and independent as Courbet in The Meeting. The article  was a major criticism of the corruption surrounding Art Basel Miami Beach. It is no secret to anyone that corruption has been a major ingredient of the art market.

https://news.artnet.com/market/art-basel-miami-beach-degrades-artists-385643#.VnNV7iIPd7I.mailto

If you’r wondering about the dramatic shift in style, it may be explained by the extensive costume research I did to participate in the  costume design competition  for Luc Besson’s movie Valerian .

Here was my submission, I didn’t win but it was so much fun!

Happy holidays to all!!

 

A1-valerian_besson

 

Life goes on despite trash taking over the city!

#aishtibythesea;roula sorour,photomontage,fashion,bleu,water,phoenician,beirut;lebanon;made in beirut; Submission to #aishtibythesea competition, concept and photomontage by roula sorour, fashion design by Blanka Matragi[/caption]

Beirut is amazing! Despite its tiny size, galleries and art spaces keep mushrooming left right and center. The latest addition will be the Aishti Foundation designed by David Adjave.
Aishti launched a #aishtibythesea competition to promote it. I immediately jumped to the occasion and decided to collaborate with the very talented Blanca Matragi by creating these  photomontages. I took inspiration from Beirut , from Aishti’s campaign and from  my last visit to the beirut national  museum . The first submission is very playful and as the inspiration is about the sea i chose phoenician artifacts. I also used a photo of soap bubbles taken at the science museum in London. For those who have kids this is a show not to be missed! The second is inspired by the lovely lebanese spirit of positivity and resilience especially during difficult times including the present trash crisis. Lebanese are keeping their fingers crossed for politicians to come to an agreement to solve the issue. The whole country is threatened to disappear under loads of trash including the beautiful architecture designed by David Adjave!! The third was my Gatekeeper!

IF you want my frank opinion we should have won! But one never knows what goes inside the brains of jury members.

#aishtibythesea;roula sorour;fashion;photomontage;lebanon;architecture;David Ajaye;aishti; Submission to aishtibythesea competition ,concept and photomontage by roula sorour, fashion design by Blanka Matragi
Life goes on !despite trash taking over the city![/caption]