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A talk with Paul Ardenne    

September 20, 2018 | Seaside Arena, Beirut Waterfront

Paul Ardenne, Writer and Historian of Art, animated an interactive conference entitled “Art in the public space, a genealogy, a reality”.



“What is the destination of art? Is the artist an important person? Can she or he change the world to make it better and how?

Now these questions are relevant and very important. Actually our world is not going well; we need obviously, all the energies and all the good will to make it more livable.”


The lecture reported relationships between art and physical territory, especially the public space. The accent was put in it on the humanized territories, of which the city, first and foremost. It highlighted the question of the "exit" of the artist (the artists are leaving their workshop and decide to work outside), of the gradual conquest of the territory of the city by artists and by art. In addition, it showcased the way there artists use the public space as a perimeter of intervention and as an artistic argument. With multiple intentions, among them the exploratory will, the research of a social link, and the revelations of the characteristic tensions of the urban fact.


The relationship between the modern then the contemporary artist with the "territory" is multi-form.

For her or for him, the first rule is to act directly in the city, in the street, without the filter of the control, outside the art gallery or the museum. To act outside gives the artist some freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of exposure, freedom of contacts with people directly.

This opportunity of meetings and of encounters gives the artist the ability to make buzz, to move the urban landscape, to create news social links, also to rehab the territory.


Classically, public art is made of statues, great official monuments. This is a very stable aesthetic offer. When an artist is working directly in the public space, of course she or he is changing the whole deal. She or he breaks the ordinary relationship of people with the classic and traditional public art, she or he renews the landscape of the city, she or he creates a new panorama.


Here the notions of short time, of intervention are essential. The event in itself is an aesthetics. As you know well, the contemporary public art is always ephemeral, without a long duration, it is a merge, a profusion of aesthetics and of sensibility.  It creates, as says the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, a new "sharing of the sensibility".


Between the humanized territories, the city soon distinguishes itself by the strongest attraction, which it exercises on the world of the art. The modernity confirms this transformation, from before 20th century.


The quiet universe calmed of the countryside, for a long time, had attracted the artists working "on the motive", as the Flemish landscape painters or the famous French school of Barbizon.

However, the urban development that accompanies the industrial revolution throughout the 19th century expires this direction. The city becomes then an essential, highly magnetic "chronotope", of the modern creation…

1- Piotr Pavlenski, Fixation, Place Roug
3- Valie Export, Touch Cinema, 1968.jpg
5- Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz Star
4- Tadashi Kawamata, Gandamaison, Versai
2- Daniel Buren, Les deux plateaux, Pari

Workshop - Zeina Hamady

5 to 22 October 2016 | Sanayeh garden

An installation and performance piece in which the artist sat on the floor and baked Saj bread and presented it to her audience. Surrounded by ceramic bowls etched with imagery and poetry by the nomads in her life, she spent two hours a day, every day, making bread and placing it in these bowls. The bowls moved, exchanged hands amongst the audience, filled up with bread and dust, and settled back around her throughout the performance.

Raise Your Voice with Henaa Malallah
6 to 7 October 2016 | Sanayeh garden


A walk through Beirut to collect industrial rubbish! The material served to create one's own artwork and the walk was an occasion to exchange on Biohazard with the artist.
The workshop allowed the person to become a clear voice against obsession industrialization that is covering almost of our daily life and intoxicates it.


Atelier Yok Yok

26 September to 4 October 2016 | Sanayeh garden


Atelier Yok Yok invited architecture students to help build the installation and learn about their techniques and vision. The workshop / the making of, took place at the garden and was followed by conversations around innovative architecture and the relationship with art.

Arabic Calligraphy Workshops - Ghaleb Hawila     

5 to 15 October 2016 | Sanayeh garden

Ghaleb Hawila initiated the participants to the ancestral art of calligraphy. They experienced first-hand, authentic Arabic Calligraphy tools with the artist and learned about the history of Arabic Calligraphy. At the core of Arabic and Middle Eastern culture, Ghaleb Hawila transmits his passion and his mastery of an art that he has successfully transposed in the vocabulary of street art.

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