Beirut Exploded Views, 2014, Video Still

Beirut Exploded Views, 2014
Video Still

Akram Zaatari is a video artist and curator who lives and works in Beirut. Author of more than 30 videos, and video installations, Zaatari has been exploring issues pertinent to Lebanese postwar condition, particularly the mediation of territorial conflicts and wars through television, and the logic of religious and national resistance such as in his documentary "All is Well on the Border" (1997), the circulation and production of images in the context of a geographical division of the Middle East, such as in his feature length “This Day” (2003) and “In This House” (2005). Zaatari has also been exploring representations of male sexuality particularly in "crazy of you" (1997), and later in "How I love you" (2001).


Co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut), he based his work on collecting, studying, and archiving the photographic history of the Middle East notably studying the work of Lebanese photographer Hashem el Madani, as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices. His ongoing research was the basis for a series of exhibitions and publications such as "Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices" (with Lisa Lefeuvre) "Mapping Sitting" (collaboration with Walid Raad).

He has text contributions in scholarly journals such as Third Text, Bomb, Framework, Transition, and Parachute. He is a regular contributor, writing on video, in Zawaya.




born in Saida, Lebanon

lives in Beirut

Installations/ Solo Exhibitions 

The End of Times, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
SALT, Istanbul, Turkey
4th International Canakkale Biennial 

10th Gwangju Biennale 

Yokohama Triennale 2014

Kunst/Geschichten - Museum der Moderne, Salzburg 


Here & Elsewhere - New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NY 

A Paradise Built in Hell - Kunstverein in Hamburg 

(Mis)Understanding - Werke und Manifeste zur Fotografie - Museum Folkwang Essen



Histories: Works From the Serralves Collection - Museu Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto
 A Guest Without A Host Is A Ghost - Beirut & Townhouse Gallery, Cairo 
 Archive State - MoCP - The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
All About These... Ladies And Gentlemen - National Gallery of Arts - Tirana







Akram Zaatari, Lebanese Pavillion, Arsenale, 55th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
Projects 100: Akram Zaatari, Projects Gallery Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

 2012 - 2013
Akram Zaatari. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA
This Day at Ten / Aujourd'hui à 10, Magasin Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France

Akram Zaatari. Solo exhibition at Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, United Kingdom
The End, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright", MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Mass., USA
The Uneasy Subject, MUAC, Mexico 

Composition for Two Wings, Kunsternes Hus, Oslo, Norway
The Uneasy Subject, Museo del Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain
This Day, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slowenia 

Play van Abbe Part 3. The Politics of Collecting – The Collecting of Politics, Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, Netherlands 

Earth of Endless Secrets, Kunstverein München
Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut
Ludlow38, New York 

Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg
ART Basel, ART Statements booth with Sfeir-Semler Gallery 


“Hashem el Madani: Pomenades and Studio Practices” La CaixaForum, Barcelona

“Mapping Sitting” , Grey Art Gallery, New York 

Portikus, Frankfurt
Photographers’ Gallery, London
Centre Pour l'Image Contemporaine, Genève
Musée Nicéphore Nièpce, Chalon-sur-Saône (France) 

SK Die Photographische Sammlung, Köln
Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels  

The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo 

Darat al Founoun, Amman 

Goethe Institute, Beirut 


Group Exhibitions


fALSEfAKES, Centre de la Photoraphie, Geneva, SwitzerlandHere, Elswhere / Ici, ailleurs, Marseille-Provence, France

Privat, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany

"This is a special blackout edition!“, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France
When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, USA
Liverpool Biennnial, Liverpool, UK
Mediacity Seoul 2012, Seoul, North Corea 
Six Lines of Flight: Geographies in Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany
Arab Express: The Latest Art form the Arab World, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Subversion, Cornerhouse Manchester, United Kingdom

Mapping Subjectivitiy, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
"Estrella Distante", Kurimanzutto Gallery, Mexico
"Estrella Distante", Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA
"Beirut", Kunsthalle Wien project space, Wien, Austria
Seeing is believing, KW Berlin
SESC & Videobrasil - 17th International Contemporary Art Festival, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Beirut, project space, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria
“Jean Genet”, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England
12. Istanbul Biennial, Turkey
Told – Untold – Retold, Mathaf, Qatar 

Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany 

“Traum und Wirklichkeit”, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
“Lisson Presents I”, Lisson Gallery, London 

T2 Torino Triennale, Turin
Éclats de frontières, FRAC Provence-Alpes_Cote d’Azur
“Les Inquiets. Cinq artistes sous la pression de la guerre“, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris  

“Oh Girl, It’s a Boy!”, Kunstverein München
52. Venice Biennial, Italy
8. Sharjah Biennial, UAE 


Sao Paulo Biennale
Gwangju Biennale, Korea
Sydney Biennale
OUT OF BEIRUT, Modern Art Oxford
A Picture of War is not War, Wilkinson Gallery, London


Leaps of Faith, Cyprus
Masculinities, NBK Berlin
Flight 405, Sfeir Semler Gallery, Beirut

CAC Ticino, Italy
SENI, Singapore art Museum
Nam June Paik Award exhibition, Dortmund 

Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo - as part of "Substream"
Worlwide Video Festival, Amsterdam
Videobrasil, Sao Paulo - as part of "The Possible Narratives"
Haus der Kulturen der Werlt, Berlin - as part of "Disorientation"/curated by Jack Persekian 

Homeworks, Beirut
Die Appel, Amsterdam - "Haunted by detail" - Title of piece: "The Desert Panorama"  

Ayloul Festival, Beirut 


Public Collections


Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Tate Modern, London
Global Arts, London
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Arco Foundation, Madrid
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Kadist Foundation, Paris
TBA21, Vienna




"Akram Zaatari: El Molesto Asunto/The Uneasy Subject", 2010, a project co-produced by MUSAC, León and MUAC, México
"Earth of Endless Secrets", 2009, published as a postscript to the exhibition Akram Zaatari: Unfolding; and for the exhibition: Akram Zaatari: Earth of Endless Secrets, Kunstverein München, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut, Beirut Art Center
“Hashem el Madani: Studio Practices,” (2004 – MTG – AIF – TPG).
“Mapping Sitting,” (2002 - MTGé, Beirut) with Zeina Maasri and Karl Bacil, in collaboration with W. Raad.
“The Vehicle: Picturing Moments of Transition in a Modernizing Society,” (1999 - MTGé, Beirut)
“Portraits du Caire: Van Leo, Armand, Alban,” (1999 - Actes Sud, Paris)
“Another Resolution,” (1998 - MTGé, Beirut)  


Awards and Residencies


Video de Brazil in Videobrazil, First Prize for "Tomorrow Everything will be Alright"
Yanghun Prize, Korea 

DAAD, Berliner Künstlerprogramm 

Recollets, Paris.
Bellagio, The Rockeffeler Foundation 

FAIR PLAY Video Art Festival Berlin, 1st Price for “Red Chewing Gum” 

Prix Son – FID Marseille. For “This Day” 

Grand Award – Ismailia short & Doc Film Festival (Egypt). For “Her + Him Van Leo” 

Jury Award – VideoLisboa. For: “Red Chewing Gum” 

Grand Award – Antalya Golden Orange Festival. For “Crazy of You”
Best documentary & best director, Beirut film festival, for "Crazy of You"  

Banff Center for the Arts 


Film and Video Screenings/Festivals (Selection)


17. Internationales Festival Zeitgenössischer Kunst, SCSE Videobrazil, Sao Paulo 

International Film Festival Rotterdam 

Beirut Art Center
Images, Toronto 

Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage
SANFIC, Santiago - Chile 

Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes 

Tate Modern, London 

Videobrasil, Sao Paulo 

Disorientation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin