'Over the past 15 years, I have worked on assembling and producing documents, archival material, as well as fictitious elements, reconfiguring them into narratives in which I rethink the connection between historical reality and fiction, and reflect on the relation between individual stories and a collective history. I have mainly explored the possibilities of representation of the Lebanese wars and their aftermath, and of Beirut, a city at the centre of my imagery.
I had never produced an image outside of Lebanon when the Serpentine Gallery invited me to participate in the Edgware Road Project, so the challenge was substantial. How was I to produce something in a place that is so unfamiliar, of which I ignored almost everything? There may never be an outcome to this project, I thought, but it would be interesting to experience a displacement of my practice while maintaining a similar approach to the one I had in Beirut. I started by researching and collecting material (archive, video interviews, maps etc.) As in my preceding works, where my approach to representing war and narrating our recent history was to acknowledge my inability to do so, there too, when dealing with the history of the Edgware Road, I could only propose attempts at representation, fragments of history, and personal stories that would intersect with official History. Here too, the narrative would be constructed like a spider's web, and the disparate fragments would be assembled retrospectively, according to a non-linear structure that emphasises the erratic rhythms of memory and the incapacity of linear historical progression to account for the intricacies of human experience. My research for the Edgware Road would therefore suggest an idea of time that is elliptical rather than chronological. I would also map the geography of places without being exhaustive, through a personal journey, in an attempt to render a physical and mental space. But unlike Beirut, the deep 'irrational' connection to that foreign place is still missing, and the possibility of never finding the way to re-appropriate this place and make this work mine still exists.'
-- Lamia Joreige
Born in Lebanon in 1972, Lamia Joreige is a visual artist and filmmaker living and working in Beirut. Using archival documents and fictitious elements, Joreige explores the possibilities of representation of Beirut, the Lebanese wars and their aftermath. Recent exhibitions include Beirut, Kunsthalle Wien (2011) and 9th Sharjah Biennial (2009). Joreige is a co-founder and co-director of Beirut Art Center, a not-for-profit space dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon.
Lamia Joreige's residency is undertaken in collaboration with The Delfina Foundation.