Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Zena al-Khalil at Espace SD, Beirut

I subscribe to the Ashkal Alwan (Lebanese Association for the Plastic Arts) newsletter, which, if I read it, keeps me informed of all kinds of artistic activity, in the Arab world and the diaspora. I'm particularly moved by this piece by Zena al-Khalil, which is now on exhibit at Espace SD, Beirut. It's a Warholesque collage of a Maronite Christian fighter in the Lebanese Civil War, circa '74-'77 (you can tell from the hair) and the Holiday Inn, located in Beirut's famous hotel district, which was destroyed in the early months of the war. (The band I belonged to in Beirut, the Bliss St. Blues Band, played at the Holiday Inn in '74 for the American Community School High School prom.)

Zena al-Khalil, born in '76, says in her statement:
I was born in war.
Everything around me now is war.
War has always been.
I cannot remember a time when there was no war.
Besides being a painter and an installation and performance artist, Zena is a Greenpeace activist.

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