Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Dineo Seshee Bopape
Mohamed Monaiseer
Joshua Mosley
Ania Soliman












BEIRUT- Sfeir-Semler Gallery begins the year with Blind Date, a group show opening on Thursday January 12, 2017. 


The exhibition brings together seven artists the gallery has never exhibited before. (Germany), Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme (Palestine / USA), Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Lebanon), Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa), Joshua Mosley (USA), Mohamed Monaiseer (Egypt) and Ania Soliman (Poland / Egypt) Works from various media including video, installation, painting, and sculpture. The pieces tackle concepts and themes from archeology, history, and politics to existential exploration, the feminine, the digital and the mystical. The show invites the artists to make their first introduction - their first impression - to our Beirut space.






Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme, And Yet My Mask Is Powerful Part 1, 2016, 5 channel video projection, tools, bricks and boards, variable dimensions






Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme, And Yet My Mask Is Powerful Part 2, 2016, bricks, images, cork boards, 3D printed masks, plants, variable dimensions


Basel Abbas (*1983, Cyprus) & Ruanne Abou-Rahme (*1983, Boston) – working together since 2009 - both live and work between New York & Ramallah

Using video, images, text, and installation, this artist duo approaches the concepts of the individual and their environment with respect to the perception of the present. Their works often draw on archeological, fictional, and natural explorations to re-examine contemporary political, social, and geographical issues. The show will include their latest work, And Yet My Mask Is Powerful, whereby the artists dive into historical events, places, and artifacts, and display their findings and their journey to create a counter-mythology for the present.









Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Wissam, 2016, artifical orange tree, dictaphone cassette tape, photographs, 210 x 80 cm





Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Conflicted Phomenes, 2012, vinyl, paper, wooden shelf, 208 x 300 cm


Lawrence Abu Hamdan (*1985, Amman - lives and works in Beirut)

With a strong belief that politics and art are inherently bound together, Abu Hamdan works with audiovisual installations, performances, and images to shed light on human rights under governmental and religious laws. His works particularly analyze sounds and their visual implications and interpretations. Whether it is elucidating a sermon on the power of silence from magnetic tape in the work Wissam, or examining asylum approvals based on tabulating the subtleties of accents in Conflicted Phonemes, the artist creates a vivid image for a sound – a sound that is laden with the complications of humanity.










Dineo Seshee Bopape, Sedibeng (It Comes With the Rain), 2016, mixed media, variable dimensions


Dineo Seshee Bopape (*1981, Polokwane, South Africa - lives and works in Johannesburg)

Bopape’s multimedia installations astound the viewer with a cacophony of images, illusions, textures, and sounds. The works, which usually are comprised of several pieces, combine large-scale structures along with miniscule ornaments and images. The artist adorns steel figures bent in a manner that emphasizes the malleability and fluidity of the material, with objects collected from local markets and sites, shaped and manipulated by hand. The clamor of the installation destabilizes these everyday objects, allowing the viewer to reconsider their purpose in relation to the metaphysics of space, beauty, place, spirit, and politic.










Mohamad Monaiseer, Storyteller, 2016, ink, tempera, embroidery on fabric, variable dimensions


Mohamed Monaiseer (*1989, Cairo-lives and works in Cairo)

An emerging artist from Egypt, Monaiseer creates drawings and paintings that delineate mystical and transcendental concepts. The obsessive repetition seen in his works comment on the potency of a word or figure after it has been multiplied and reproduced ad nauseum. The artist draws and paints on fabric, canvas, and paper, leaving the medium in its raw form. The shroud-like works add to ethereal notions Monaiseer explores.










Johsua Mosley, Dread, 2007, mixed media animation, five bronze sculptures, variable dimensions





Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec


Joshua Mosley (*1974, Dallas-lives and works in Philadelphia)

Mosley is a filmmaker and animator. He works with computer generated as well as stop motion animation to make films reflecting on human nature. In the film dread, which is accompanied by bronze sculptures, the artist creates a forest landscape as a setting for a conversation between the philosophers Jean Jacques Rousseau and Blaise Pascal on free will, the human condition and its relation to nature and the unknown. The figures, setting, and music give an otherworldly experience while exploring the philosophy of humanity.











Ania Soliman, Explaining Dance to a Machine (back and forth) (side to side), 2016, pencil, encaustic, pigment on paper, 260 x 114 cm


Ania Soliman  (born 1970, Warsaw-lives and works in Paris)

Born in Poland, Soliman grew up between Iraq, Europe and the USA. Her works examine the digital world and the placement of the individual within it. The drawings titled  Explaining Dance to a Machine  are meant to make the viewer think about artificial intelligence. The series is based on simple scores and is based on the principles of the invention. The workserve as a metaphor for what it means to be a material entity to think.