Akram Zaatari

Nature Morte

22 July 2009 - 2 August 2009

BALTIC presents Nature Morte by Beirut-based artist Akram Zaatari. In over thirty videos Zaatari has explored Lebanese postwar conditions, the mediation of territorial conflicts and wars through television, the logic of resistance and the production and circulation of images. Nature Morte is a recording of a silent moment, in which two men prepare themselves for a military action in the blue light of dawn.

While the older man makes explosives, the younger man carefully mends his jacket. The relationship between the two men is unclear and we are left to question which will carry out the implied operation. For the video production, Zaatari worked with a former member of the Lebanese Resistance, Mohammad Abu Hammane, who also features in an earlier work by Zaatari All is well on the border (1997). Mohammad Abu Hammane’s reappearance in this work is a transposition in time that evokes the awakening of an older resistant, now revisiting his military gear. Nature Morte was shot in Hubbariyeh, a Lebanese village located in the Aarqub area of Southern Lebanon, where the fidaeyin (Palestinian resistance fighters) based themselves in the late 1960s. The village is only few kilometers away from the Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms.

Akram Zaatari has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions including his latest project Earth of Endless Secrets, exhibited at Kunstverein München, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, and the Beirut Art Center (2009); Previous solo exhibitions include Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Art Basel (2007); the Grey Art Gallery, New York (2005); Portikus, Frankfurt (2004) and the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (2002). His work has also been exhibited in group shows and biennales including at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2008); the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); the Sao Paolo Biennale (2006); Sydney Biennale (2006) and Gwanju Biennale in South Korea (2006).

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