I’ll start this with a disclaimer: I truly don’t know much of anything about art beyond the fact that art is supposed to make you feel. And being someone who hasn’t felt anything since the early 90s, my experience at this particular show was remarkable.

With Beirut’s art scene on the cusp of a boom, you'll want to be sure to catch this significant show. Though admittedly, Civilization by Ginane Makki-Bacho plays out more like an experience rather than a show, a sentiment echoed by many of the attendees.

Many exhibitions are good, some are great, but very few are this lyrical and alive. Touching upon themes of nationalism, history, war, power, and violence (and doing so cohesively, we might add), Civilization contains elements that represent events in Lebanon and the Arab world. But in viewing the entire body of work as one, the message becomes slightly clearer; it is one centered around the perpetual cycle of nationalism and violence throughout the arc of history.

Some of the sculptures are made with very unique materials: pieces of shrapnel that invaded Makki-Bacho’s home back in 1983, and others from scrap metals from cars. But as you walk through the display, it becomes increasingly impossible to see the pieces as scrap metals but rather as what they have become — it is the ultimate transformation from inanimate to animate.

The show’s spacious installation allows you to submerge yourself in a world cleverly and meticulously created by Makki-Bacho.

The exhibition will run until the 7th of January at the Saleh Barakat Gallery in Clemenceau.

More details about the event can be found here.

Images via Yara Almously.

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