Daily Screening Schedule:


This Day (2003)

12:00 PM

In This House (2004-2012)

1:30, 2:40, 3:45, 4:55 PM

Letter to a Refusing Pilot (2013)

2:05, 3:10, 4:20, 5:30 PM





















































BEIRUT – Sfeir-Semler Gallery is proud to announce the opening of its new show This Day @ Ten by celebrated Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari.


         The exhibition revisits Zaatari’s documentary work, where the artist becomes the archaeologist of modern history. It derives its title from a film Zaatari made ten years ago about the production and circulation of images at times of war. This concern is further explored in the current exhibition with the screening of other works Zaatari has produced since, notably latest film Letter to a Refusing Pilot (2013), which was made for the Lebanon pavilion at the Venice biennial 2013.


Reflecting the double nature of Zaatari’s work, working on revealing but also concealing artifacts, and his dual practice in film but also in visual arts, the gallery space has been divided in two.


         The first half of the gallery has been transformed into a cinema space, screening This Day (2003), In This House (2004-2012), Letter to a Refusing Pilot (2013). Each one of these films looks at a different aspect of documents’ status at times conflicts, notably the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.


The second half of the gallery displays mainly Zaatari’s Time capsule project, made for dOCUMENTA(13). This work is inspired by a gesture by the Beirut National Museum at a key moment in its history, when the museum sealed most of its collections of archeological objects and artifacts inside huge concrete blocks that remained onsite in the museum's main hall from 1976 until the end of the war in 1991. Zaatari’s Time Capsule project imagines scripts/models for radical preservation designed for the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut; models that consider non-scientific paradigms to rethink photograph preservation while recognizing the necessity of timely withdrawal of documents and artifacts at times of great risks.


“Zaatari has played a critical role in developing the formal, intellectual, and institutional infrastructure of Beirut’s contemporary art scene. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, a groundbreaking, artist-driven organization devoted to the research and study of photography in the region, he has made invaluable and uncompromising contributions to the wider discourse on preservation and archival practice.” Kaelen Wilson-Goldie.


In addition to the Venice Biennale (2013), Zaatari’s works have been featured in Documenta 13 (2012), the Istanbul Biennial (2011), and many other exhibitions in institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, Kunstverein and Haus der Kunst in Munich, Le Magasin in Grenoble, MUSAC in Leon, MUAC in Mexico City, Videobrasil in Sao Paulo, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Zaatari was born in Saida in 1966. He lives and works in Beirut.


The opening will include two screenings of Letter to a Refusing Pilot (2013) at 6:30 and 7:30 pm. For the duration of the exhibition it will screen in a staged cinema-like setting according to a fixed screening schedule with In This House  (2004-2012) and This Day (2003).