Artists Talk: I Spy With My Little Eye…
Join Stefan Tarnowski in conversation with a number of artists whose work is part of I Spy with My Little Eye… an exhibition exploring a shift in artistic practice and individual concerns within a new generation of artists connected to Beirut.
Joe Namy, Tala Worell and Aya Haidar will delve into the way in which this new generation of artists bring a new set of formal and semantic interests to their practice that is removed from the preceding generation’s focus on archives and documentary.
Joe Namy is a Beirut-based artist/composer using a variety of media to investigate aspects of identity, memory, power, and currents encoded in music/organized sound.
Tala Worell lives and works in Beirut. Her constellation of new paintings stems from a tradition of landscape painting that is rooted in a particular idea of nature, where the painter (subject/human) is literally. In her approach to the act of painting, the artist seeks to detangle the word nature or natural.
Aya Haidar is currently based London. Though of Lebanese heritage, Haidar has never been a permanent Lebanese resident. Using stories told to her when knitting with her grandmother and accounts of friends and people the artist has met in Lebanon, Haidar reconstructs her own versions of historical events through re-imaginings. Central to her practice is an acknowledgement of participating in a process of handing down or passing on – both the stories told to her by her of the situation and history of Lebanon – as well as the traditional techniques of embroidery that Haidar employs.
Stefan Tarnowski is a PhD candidate at Columbia University’s Anthropology Department. He also works as a researcher, translator and subtitler for artists and filmmakers. He was Assistant Director and then Education Programme Director for Beirut Art Center, and participated in Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program 2013-14.
Image credit (above) – Aya Haidar, Return To Sender, 2013. Image courtesy of Athr and the artist.
Image credit (listing) – Caline Aoun, One thousand pine needles, 2015. Courtesy of Grey Noise and the artist.
Part of Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture. 11 – 26 July 2015.
Shubbak is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab culture, presenting outstanding international Arab artists to London audiences and communities. www.shubbak.co.uk