Moderna Museet, 2015

Moderna Museet, 2015
installation view, Photo: Åsa Lundén

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


Selected Solo Exhibitions


Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright, Galpão VB: Associação Cultural Videobrasil
This Day At Ten, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland
The Archaeology of Rumour, Kurimanzutto, Mexico D.F.

Unfolding, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

This Day @ Ten, Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels, Belgium

Akram Zaatari, Lebanese Pavillon, Arsenale, 55. Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
Akram Zaatari. This Day @ Ten, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut, Lebanon
Akram Zaatari: All Is Well, Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queens University Kingston, UK
Projects 100: Akram Zaatari, Projects Gallery Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

Projects 100: Akram Zaatari, SFMOMA, San Francisco, USA
This Day at Ten / Aujourd'hui à 10, Magasin Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France
Akram Zaatari, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA
The End, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

Composition for Two Wings, Kunsternes Hus, Oslo, Norway This Day, Moderna Galerija Ljubiljana, Slovenia  

 Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, France Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Earth of Endless Secrets, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Ludlow38, New York, USA
Beirut Art Center, Lebanon
Kunstverein Munich, Germany

Art Basel/Statements, Switzerland
Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany  

 Hashem el Madani: Pomenades and Studio Practices, CaixaForum, Barcelona, Tenerife and Salamanca, Spain
Hashem el Madani: Studio Practices, Paris Photo, Paris, France

 Mapping Sitting (coll. with Walid Raad), Grey Art Gallery, New York, USA

Unfolding, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany
Hashem el Madani: Studio Practices, Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK
Mapping Sitting, Centre Pour l'Image Contemporaine, Genève, Switzerland
Mapping Sitting, Musée Nicéphore Nièpce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France

Mapping Sitting, SK Die Photographische Sammlung, Cologne, Germany
Mapping Sitting, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels

The Vehicle, The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

The Vehicle, Darat al Founoun, Amman, Jordan 

Goethe Institute, Beirut, Lebanon


Selected Group Exhibitions


Between Myth and Fright. The Mediterranean as conflict, Institut Valencia d'art Modern, Valencia, Spain

Gallery 3010, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Arte Fiera Collezionismi – Too Early Too Late. Middle East and Modernity, Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Italy

Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York, USA
(Mis) Understanding Photography Werke und Manifeste, Museum Folkwang Essen, Germany
Shifting Sands, ASU Art Museum, Temple, Arizona, USA
Yokohoma Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohoma, Japan

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

This is a special blackout edition!, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France
Privat, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany
When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA
Liverpool Biennial, 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, UK

Participant at Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey
Seeing is believing, KW – Institue for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
Distant Star, Regen Projects, Los Angeles & Kurimanzutto, Mexico
Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
Beirut project space, Kunsthalle Vienna, Austria
17th International Contemporary Art Festival, São Paulo, Brasil
Photography, New Documents, Tate Modern, London, UK
Mapping Subjectivity, MOMA, New York, USA
Volume!, MACBA Barcelona, Spain
October Salon 2011, Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrad, Serbia

Tradition der Zukunft – Zukunft der Tradition, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany Rencontres Internationales, Paris/Berlin/Madrid, Haus der Kulturen, Berlin, Germany

Indicated by Signs curated by Yilmaz, Bonner Kunstverein
Espai Visor Gallery, Valencia, Spain
Itinerary Gallery, Rome, Italy
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Tarjama/Translation, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
Lisson Presents 1, Lisson Gallery, London, UK
Closer Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon

The Middle of the Middle by Catherine David, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
50 Moons of Saturn, Torino Triennale, Italy
Scenes du Sud II, Carré d'Art, Nimes, France
Art in Lebanon, Darat el Founoun, Amman, Jordan
Les Inquiets, Espace 315, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Oh Girl, It’s a Boy, Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany
Mediterraneo(s), Centre d’Art La Panera, Lerida, Spain
GEOPOETICAS, Centro José. Guerrero, Granada, Spain
Pavilion of Lebanon, Venice biennale, Venice, Italy
Thermocline of Art - New Asian Waves, ZKM, Karsruhe, Germany
Biennale of Thessaloniki, Greece

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

Leaps of Faith, Nicosia, Cyprus
Masculinities, NBK Berlin, Germany
Flight 405, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

CAC Ticino, Italy
SENI, Singapore art Museum, Singapore
Nam June Paik Award exhibition, Dortmund, Germany
Tanit Gallery, Munich, as part of Present / Absence.
LIFT, London - as part of the exhibition Laughter

Substream, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Worlwide Video Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Possible Narratives, Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil
Disorientation, curated by Jack Persekian, Haus der Kulturen der Werlt, Berlin, Germany

Haunted by detail, Die Appel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hamra Street project, Beirut, Lebanon
Askal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon

Corniche project, Askal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon

Ayloul Festival, Beirut, Lebanon


Works in 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, São Paulo 

International Film Festival Rotterdam 

Beirut Art Center
Images, Toronto 

Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage
SANFIC, Santiago - Chile 

Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes 

Tate Modern, London 

Videobrasil, São Paulo 

Disorientation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin