MARWAN at Contemporary Art Daily

August 16, 2017

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FRIEZE about Lebanese artists & the Beirut art scene

Learning from Beirut
by David Markus I July 11, 2017

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Rayyane Tabet at Selections

Ah, my beautiful Venus!
by Jareh Das I August 10, 2017

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Etel Adnan in Beshara Magazine

An Artisan of Beauty and Truth. Etel Adnan in conversation with David Hornsby and Jane Clark
by Beshara Magazine I May 17, 2017

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Khalil Rabah at ART DUBAI Portraits

by ART DUBAI I April 30, 2017

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Rabih Mroué on France Culture

Une vie d'artists. Numéro 13. La mémoire de Rabih Mroué
by Aurélie Charon I November 21, 2016

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Haig Aivazian and Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Jdeed Magazine

by Léa Vicente I June 19, 2017

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Marwan Rechmaoui at TateShots

by Tate I March 17, 2017

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Akram Zaatari at Conetmporary Art Daily

16 March, 2017

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Rabih Mroué at arte Journal

Rabih Mroué: les traces, le deuil, l'absence, le chaos, la mémoire des conflicts
by M. Schnee, N. Kriese, A. Canzler, et al. I January 2017

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Hiroyuki Masuyama about his exhibitions ZEITWANDERER

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Rabih Mroué featured at Contemporary Art Daily

Rabih Mroué at Kunsthalle Mainz
2nd March, 2017

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Etel Adnan on France Culture

Beyrouth année 30: Quand le Levant se lève la poétesse Etel Adnan se souvient
by Alain Kruger I 19 February 2017

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Walid Raad about his work

ICP Infinity Award: Art - Walid Raad

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Wael Shawky featured at Selection

Wael Shawky's Italian trio
by Irene McConnell I 19 January, 2017
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Haig Aivazian at ArtReview

Future Greats: Haig Aivazian.
by Gabriel Coxheard I From the January & February 2017 issue

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Blind Date Review in L'orient-Le Jour

by Danny Mallat I 26 January 2017
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In conversation with Haig Aivazian, Ibrazz

by Rayya Badran I 24 January 2017
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Wael Shawky at Apollo

Puppet master: an interview with Wael Shakwy
by Sameer Rahim I January 14, 2017

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Rabih Mroué at Art Radar

"Between Two Battles": Lebanese artist Rabih Mroué at Kunsthalle Mainz
by Rebecca Close I 24 January 2017

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Interview with Khalil Rabah on Middle East Monitor

by Naima Morelli I 20 December 2016
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Interview with Marwan Rechmaoui on BERLINARTLINK

by Louisa Elderton I 25 December 2016
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Günter Haese in Kieler Nachrichten

Poet der feinen Bewegung. Zum Tod des in Kiel geborenen Bildhauers Günter Haese
by Maren Kruse I 9 Dezember, 2016

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Andrée Sfeir-Semler at NDR Kultur

Klassik á la carte with Jan Ehlert I 14 December 2016
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Obituary on Günter Haese

by C. F. Schröer I 14 December 2016
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MARWAN at ARTFORUM

by Omar Kholeif I 7 December 2016
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Etel Adnan at Critic's Guide Hamburg

by Chloe Stead I 2016

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Akram Zaatari at Tohu Magazine

Two Point Perspective (part I): Letter to a Refusing Pilot
by Noah Simblist I 2016

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Haig Aivazian, First Middle East Show

By Hadia Sinno I 2 September 2016 |

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Yto Barrada at Amateur Cities

Wishful Thinking I 2016

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Akram Zaatari at TateShots

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Wael Shawky at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Es gibt keine Helden
by Kia Vahland I 2016

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YTO BARRADA at Centre Pompidou

PRIX MARCEL DUCHAMP 2016

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MARWAN & Yto Barrada in Al-Akhbar

Two Current Exhibitions on Show (P.22-23)
by Boutros Al Maari and Rawan Ezzedine | 21 July 2016

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Yto Barrada in A Critic's Guide: Beirut

by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie | 19 July 2016

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Yto Barrada's Faux Guide in L'Orient le Jour

Exhibition Review
by Danny Mallat | 12 July 2016

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Etel Adnan in The ART NEWSPAPER

California landscapes resonate in London
by Aimee Dawson | 1 June 16

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Rabih Mroué in FRIEZE

REVIEW
by Anna Wallace-Thompson I 24 May 2016

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Akram Zaatari, Mounira Al-Solh, and Walid Raad in The Culture Trip's 10 Best Contemporary Artists

Lebanon's 10 Best Contemporary Artists And Where To Find Them
by C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia I 2016

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Marwan Rechmaoui's Show Selected as One of the Most Captivating Shows in Beirut

Marwan Rechmaoui's Show Included in Selections' most captivating shows in Beirut this Season by India Stoughton, 2016

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art.Das Kunstmagazin

Rabih Mroué - gallerywalkthrough

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Yto Barrada in ESSE

by Noa Bronstein I 2016

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Yto Barrada Featured in Aperture

Yto Barrada. Dinosaur Road
by Carmen Winant I 2016

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Marwan Rechmaoui in Al-Akhbar

Fortress in a Corner, Bishop Takes Over Review
by Pierre Abi Saab I 26 February 2016

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Walid Raad at Hyperallergic

Walid Raad Playfully Probes His MoMA Survey
by Eva Díaz I 22 January 2016

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Walid Raad on E-Flux

Walid Raad’s Spectral Archive, Part One: Historiography as Process
by Alan Gilbert I January 2016

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Walid Raad in ArtForum

by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie I January 2016

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Walid Raad in ArtForum

by David J. Roxburgh I January 2016

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New York Times - ART REVIEW, January 7th, 2016

Walid Raad's Unreality Show Spins Middle Eastern History as Art

Written by Holland Cotter

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SZ Magazin 46/2015 Kunst

Vier kleine Märchen

Written by Mounira Al Solh

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SZ Magazin 46/2015 Kunst

Menschen verwandeln sich in Monster

Written by Wael Shawky

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SZ Magazin 46/2015 Kunst

Geflickt, aber nicht zerissen

Interview with Yto Barrada

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WAEL SHAWKY's show at MoMA PS1 selected as Artnet's no. 1 most memorable museum show of 2015

by Ben Davis on artnet.com I 25 November 2015

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Selections - Arts/Style/Culture From The Arab World And Beyond

The Playtime Issue Curated by Andrée Sfeir-Semler

Interviewed by India Stoughton

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Weltkunst No. 78, 2013, pp. 50-59

Ausweitung der Kunstzone

Portait von Annabelle Hirsch

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Süddeutsche Zeitung 14./15. September 2013

Die Unversöhnliche

Portait von Georg Imdahl

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SFAQ, Issue No 9, May 2012

Andree Sfeir-Semler

Interviewed by Andrew McClintock

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artnet, June 6th, 2012

Kein Künstler der Documenta ist König der Erde

Interview Andrée Sfeir-Semler with Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

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Spiegel Online, January 24th 2012

Können Archive die Seele bewahren?

Akram Zaatari, The End, Sfeir-Semler Hamburg
Author: Ingeborg Wiensowski

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Artnet magazine, September 13th 2011

Zwischen den Zeichen

Walid Raad in der Kunsthalle Zürich
Author: Jörg Scheller

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The Financial Times, May 2011

Documentary shows/Taryn Simon, Tate Modern, London

Author: Francis Hodgson

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Al Akhbar, 19. January 2011

pdf



The Daily Star, May, 2011

Rabih Mroué at BAK

Where fashion, fabrics and geometry meet

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Now Lebanon, May, 2011

Capturing Lebanon’s moment of glamour ­ and kitsch

F.C. Gundlach’s fashion shots evoke the Middle East’s golden age

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The Daily Star, Lebanon, February 2011

Civilization clash: who pulls the strings?

Wael Shawky’s ‘Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File’ survives lure of comedy

Author: Jim Quilty

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ART FORUM, September 2010

Rabih Mroué at BAK

Author: T.J. Demos

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SPIEGEL ONLINE, February 2010

Sehnsucht nach dem verlorenen Ort

Interview with Elger Esser

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The Daily Star, February, 2010

NOISE

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Artforum, January, 2010

Akram Zaatari

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CANVAS, March 2009

Galerie Sfeir-Semler ­ there and back again

Author: ANNA LOUIE SUSSMAN

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Review, July 2008

Generation gap

Author: KAELEN WILSON-GOLDIE

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The Review, July, 2008

Generation gap

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The Daily Star, August 2007

Less Roses

Wild orchids and metaphorical shipwrecks

German photographer Elger Esser curates an exhibition for a low season
capturing beauty on the edge of ruin, an apt image of Beirut itself.

Author: KAELEN WILSON-GOLDIE

Interview BEIRUT:

The contemporary art scene in Beirut is famously flexible. For more than 15 years, a community of independent artists and nonprofit arts organizations has built an infrastructure for cultural production that is capable of withstanding one political rupture after another. That infrastructure dovetails nicely with the commercial gallery system, which grows robust when economic times are good and becomes strained when they are bad. The dog days of August are always slow when it comes to art. Galleries typically go on hiatus for the month, artists and curators travel and the public seeks refuge at the beach or in the mountains.
But few would argue that the contemporary art scene in Beirut is currently in good health. The otherwise indefatigable Agenda Culturel, the fortnightly French-language listings guide to cultural events in the Lebanese capital and beyond, put out an issue as thin as a wisp covering two weeks in July. The subsequent issue feels a bit heftier - but only because it covers a month and a half.

The issue for July 11 through July 24 weighed in at just 12 pages. The issue for roughly the same period last year - which obviously went to press before the war with Israel began on July 12 - was three times the size. As the publishers' note in an introduction to their visibly emaciated issue, in the summer of 2005 they listed 272 cultural events, in the summer of 2006 they listed 355 (95 percent of which were cancelled) and in the summer of 2007, they listed just 55, quite a drop and paltry by any standard for a cosmopolitan city of 1.5 million.
In terms of the commercial gallery scene, Galerie Epreuve d'Artiste, the V&A Gallery and Espace SD have closed (though not, in all cases, due to the situation in Lebanon). The Agial Art Gallery in Hamra hasn't mounted a new exhibition since last summer's showcase for Franco-Sudanese painter Hassan Musa. Like several other Beirut galleries, Agial is showing stock for those who care to drop by and browse. But gallery owners know that this isn't a season of buyers. For-profit entities with overheads that include rent, staffing and electricity - to say nothing of transportation, insurance, installation and production costs - are less flexible than their not-for-profit counterparts.
So what is Andree Sfeir-Semler thinking in putting on an exhibition - filling a 1,000-square-meter gallery with new work by six international artists - that opens on Thursday? "I said I'm not going to postpone because who knows what is going to happen in the fall?" Sfeir-Semler says ruefully, in reference to the presidential elections that are meant to take place in September. "I decided to go on even if only 10 people see the show ... The collectors are hardly here," she adds. "The artists were unsure, but I encouraged them to go on as if this were a healthy country in happy times."

Galerie Sfeir-Semler opened in Karantina in April 2005. Whether or not that was an auspicious date probably depends on how local history plays out in the next few months. Sfeir-Semler's original gallery has been in business in Hamburg, Germany, for decades, so she doesn't depend solely on the often arid Lebanese art market.
Two years ago, German photographer Elger Esser gave Sfeir-Semler the last push she needed to plunge into her Beirut adventure.

"Sales of his work financed the gallery for the first year," Sfeir-Semler reports matter-of-factly. "He came to Lebanon and he felt it," she adds.

Esser's large-scale, labor-intensive, painstakingly composed photographs of Lebanon - from the Enfeh salt flats in the North to the archeological relics of Sidon and a series of strange, serene views of Naqoura in the South - are among the most poetic landscapes he's ever made.

Now Esser is pitching in again. The exhibition that opens of Thursday is based on his own curatorial conceit - beauty on the edge of ruin or at the risk of disappearance - and is named, with intentional awkwardness, "Less Roses."

"I invited him to do a show of his own work in the space," Sfeir-Semler recalls. "He decided not to do that but to invite artists and friends to join him in a group show. All of the artists [in "Less Roses'] make works that have to do with beauty and the danger of lost beauty."

"Less Roses" includes works by Moritz Altmann, Yto Barrada, Peter Hopkins, Glen Rubsamen and Felix Schramm - who is creating a massive sculpture that ruptures a room at the entrance to the gallery and is sure to find many degrees of unintended resonance in Beirut.

The show also includes two bodies of work by Esser. One is an installation of 10 glass vitrines filled with souvenirs from his time in Lebanon and focused on the country's wild orchids, which he discovered with a guide from the Initiative for Biodiversity Studies in Arid Regions, part of the American University of Beirut's agricultural sciences faculty. Apparently, Lebanon boasts 17 species of wild orchid, only 10 of which are still blooming. The rest exist only in historical writings or drawings.

"I've spent five very intense times in Lebanon," says Esser. "This work is somehow a daybook of by first stay, in 2004, for 10 days." One in a generation of German photographers that studied with the venerable Bernd and Hilla Becher in Dusseldorf, Esser creates works that are markedly more sumptuous than those of his peers, such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth and Thomas Ruff. But according to Sfeir-Semler, while all his photographs deal with traveling, few have engaged so sensitively with place as his Lebanon pictures.
"Less Roses," says Esser, is not meant to be educational. Rather, it is "like flowers" for the country. "Hidden, not with compliments, but with interest, not without love, but clear."

Esser's second body of work, in a roundabout way, couldn't be more relevant in terms of capturing Lebanon's existential malaise in an apt, extended metaphor. It is a series of large-scale photographs, meticulously hand-colored, each depicting a historic shipwreck.
Copyright (c) 2007 The Daily Star



Daily Star, August, 2007

Less Roses

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Artforum, Aril 2007

Out of Place

Author: KAELEN WILSON-GOLDIE

Curated by William Wells, the exhibition “Out of Place” pulls together the work of nine contemporary artists from Egypt yet dispenses with the notion that they speak for their country, their city, or even the art space they use as a common platform for their work. (Wells is the founder and director of Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, a nonprofit art space established in 1998.) From Simon Njami’s “African Remix” to the Cairo-focused iteration of Catherine David’s “Contemporary Arab Representations,” he knows exhibitions based on geography will recur and isn’t interested in adding to their project. In underlying theory and overlying practice, “Out of Place” considers the ways in which artists substitute one context for another to tease out new meanings and offer alternative readings—they make the familiar strange. Tarek Zaki’s installation of six sculptures, "Time Machine: Remembering Tomorrow," 2004, imagines the spent remains of today’s warfare as the novel artifacts of tomorrow’s antiquities museums. Hassan Khan’s streetwise Plexiglas wall work from 2006—featuring eighteen three-face panels that reveal layered images as viewers encroach upon and retreat from the piece—considers the disjunction between an individual artwork produced in solitude for an assumed elite and the visual energy and density of popular culture consumed by mass audiences. Titled Automatic Is the Voice That Speaks (and shown previously in London), Khan’s work proposes “the sign as accident” though comics, retro landscapes, and pages from soft-core pornography.

In terms of traveling artists and arts organizations, the heavy traffic between Cairo and Beirut has diminished over the past five years as the independent art scenes in both cities have gathered strength. “Out of Place” doesn’t newly bring artists such as Amal Kenawy, Mona Marzouk, and Wael Shawky to Beirut but rather returns them for fresh consideration after an era of crucial growth.



Daily Star, February 26, 2007

Rivane Neuenschwander

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) 19. September 2006

Kulturgläubige

Author: CATRIN LORCH

Es kommt wahrscheinlich nicht häufig vor, daß Anzeigen in Kunstmagazinen aus politischem Anlaß geändert werden müssen - aber die roten Versalien „There is war in Lebanon" setzte die Galeristin Andree Sfeir-Semler in letzter Sekunde quer über die Anzeige im amerikanischen „Artforum", mit der ihre Galerie für die Ausstellung „Moving Home(s)" wirbt: Denn die Gruppenschau eröffnete am 6. Juli in Beirut nur, um nach weniger als zwei Wochen wieder zu schließen. Als Bomben den Süden des Libanon und gro­ße Teile der Stadt in Schutt und Asche legten, floh Andrée Sfeir-Semler mit einem Taxi in die Berge und über Syrien zurück nach Hamburg.

Nun ist der Krieg vorbei, das „ Artforum"-Heft erschienen - und die Galerie in Beirut hat wieder geöffnet. „Es geht darum, ein Zeichen zu setzen", sagt sie, bevor sie darauf hinweist, wie zynisch ihr der Titel „Moving Home(s)" dann vor­gekommen sei, als Tausende Libanesen aus den grenznahen Gebieten flohen oder ihre Häuser verloren. Die Ausstellung gilt allerdings dem weltumspannenden Tourismus, den die Künstler als modernes Nomadentum darstellen. Thematisch auf der Höhe der Zeit und mit internationalen Stars wie Jimmie Durham, Dan Graham oder Atelier van Lieshout besetzt, ist die Schau beispielhaft für die Arbeit der libanesischen Christin, die als Studentin ihr Heimatland verließ und von Deutschland aus mit ihrer Galerie in Hamburg international bekannt wurde.

Andrée Sfeir-Semler hat immer Kontakt zur Kunstszene ihres Heimatlands gehalten und erlebte seit Anfang der neunziger Jahre, „wie sich im Libanon eine eigenständige Kunstszene entwickelte". Vor einem Jahr war für Andree Sfeir-Semler der Moment gekommen, eine ehemalige Lagerhalle anzumieten, um auf mehr als tausend Quadratmetern „einen Dialog zu begründen, indem ich die westliche Kunst in den Osten katapultiere und gleichzeitig zeige, was dort geschieht". Mit Erfolg - Künstler wie Walid Raad, der, im Libanon geboren, inzwischen in New York lebt, wird vom 22. September an mit seinem Projekt „The Atlas Group" in der Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin ausgestellt.

Das profilierte Programm in der mehr als tausend Quadratmeter großen Halle in Beirut war von Anfang an als Zuschußgeschäft geplant; die passionierte Galeristin hält den Kunsthandel für nachhaltiger als das Ausstellungswesen. Vom großen Erfolg war sie aber selbst erstaunt. Es gibt weltweit ein starkes Interesse an zeitgenössischer Kunst aus dem arabischen Raum, und zu ihren Kunden gehören Libanesen in Frankreich, in Amerika oder England genauso wie aus Beirut selbst. Von Hamburg aus telefoniert sie jetzt mehrmals täglich mit Künstlern im Libanon, und sie hat festgestellt, daß sich die Künstlerschaft dort in zwei Generationen gespalten hat: „Die Enddreißiger, die bisher die junge Kunstszene tragen, sind vollkommen paralysiert", sagt Andree Sfeir-Semler, „während die jüngeren, die sich an die Invasion Anfang der achtziger Jahre nicht bewußt erinnern, wie besessen arbeiten - filmen, fotografieren."



Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) 14. Oktober 2006

Die Frieze Art Fair in London

Author: LILO WEBER

„Der Stadtplan von Beirut füllt fast den ganzen Raum. 60 Teile aus schwarzem Hartgummi hat Marwan Rechmaoui auf den Boden im Stand der Galerie Sfeir-Semler gelegt, Teppich, Topographie und Grabplatte in einem. Der ganze Raum kann als Topographie Libanons gelesen werden. Die in Deutschland lebende Libanesin Andrée Sfeir-Semler hat letztes Jahr neben ihrer Hamburger Galerie eine Filiale in Beirut eröffnet und stellt nun ihre Künstler an der Frieze Art Fair in London vor. Und damit Werke, die alle in irgendeiner Weise Auseinandersetzungen sind mit der Gegenwart des kriegserschütterten Landes: Bilder einer zerschossenen Stadt oder einer aufgebrochenen Landschaft, Blicke auf einen Alltag, der uns fremd erscheint, darunter auch eine Arbeit des Schweizer Fotokünstlers Balthasar Burkhard.

Der Videokünstler Akram Zaatari hat das Archiv eines libanesischen Studios durchsucht und 100 Porträts ausgewählt, als Dokumentation arabischen Lebens in der jüngsten Vergangenheit. Darunter sind Bilder von Frauen, seltsam durchgestrichen – die Striche sind Kratzer auf den Negativen, mit denen Männer ihre Wut auf die Ehemaligen kundgetan haben. Der Deutsche Stephan Mörsch hat kleine Häuschen gebaut, die offenen Nistplätzen gleichen – aber inspiriert sind von den Soldatenhäuschen im Libanon, die sich alle voneinander unterscheiden. Eine serie von fünf Häuschen kostet 3.500 Euro, sie waren vor der offiziellen Eröffnung bereits alle verkauft.“ (…)



The Daily Star, Saturday, July 22, 2006

Moving Home(s)

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Au Delà des Images (Beyond Images)

works from the Fond National d'Art Contemporian, France


The exhibition Au delà des Images (Beyond Images) is based on the collection of the Fonds National d'Art Contemporain (National Fund for Contemporary Art, FNAC) and brings together the works of fifteen French and Lebanese artists. The exhibition constitutes a space where the relationships between art and documentary images are rethought.
The artists presenting their work are particularly interested in inventing new relationships to the real, and in inscribing their research in common reality. However, the resulting photographic works differ from journalistic and documentary images, two genres which are currently popular with the public at large. The reason behind this is that the process of defining an aesthetic language invariably involves a critique of the image.
The relationship image-spectator is entirely based on an ethical engagement through a leeway of signification or the creation of a poetic space, which is difficult to find in the performative efficiency of journalistic photography. The art of the 20 th century and of the 1990's has redefined an ethical dimension of the artwork.
The notions of the individual, of territory, and of the city are at the heart of the images of Valérie Jouve, Michel Lasserre and Paoula Yacoub, Jean Luc Moulène, and Chantal Akerman. For each of these artists, at varying degrees, aesthetic research is thought in relation to political and social factors. However, far from objective photography, they define above all a subjective approach, tied to their personal histories, encounters, and vision of the world.
In the same vein, the works shown in the exhibition allow us to discover personal and intimate territories that acquire their meaning within a much larger context. The exhibition proposes to make manifest this moment in France and in Lebanon where artists are renewing their relationship to the real, with a precise knowledge of the wagers of Modernity and with the awareness of a necessity to reaffirm the critical function of art.



Exploring the many meanings of hadith

Latest exhibition at Galerie Sfeir-Semler tackles the art of conversation

Article written by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, published in the DAILY STAR on Thursday, February 02, 2006

see article online...
see original as .jpg...

Conversation arts - Daily Star
Teaser on Front Page



"EXPOSITION - De Mona Hatoum à Sophie Calle, en passant par
William Kentridge, Moataz Nasereldin ou Philip-Lorca Di Corcia…
Le « Hadith » des artistes internationaux à la galerie Sfeir-Semler
"

Article written by Zená Zalal about the Hadith-Exhibition in Beirut, published in L'ORIENT LE JOUR on 31st January

read article...

article Lorient 2006



An article about the Hadith-Exhibition,
published on 28th January 2006 in the Arabian "AL HAYAT "

Whole article as .pdf-file: alhayat.pdf

Arabian "AL HAYAT "




Die Spuren der Gewalt

An article about the Arabian Art-Scene, especially the Homeworks-Festival in Beirut, written by Daniel Bax
published on 30th November 2005 in the German "TAZ" (Die Tageszeitung)

Whole article as .pdf-file: taz.pdf

Taz Article 2006