Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation, 2017
Installation view MACBA

Akram Zaatari (b.1966 in Lebanon) has produced more than fifty films and videos, all sharing an interest in writing histories, pursuing a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted left, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. 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, he has made invaluable and uncompromising contributions to the wider discourse on preservation and archival practice. Zaatari’s represented Lebanon at the Venice Biennial in 2013 with his film LETTER TO A REFUSING PILOT. His work has been featured at Documenta13 in 2012.

His work is part of institutional collections such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; K21 Dusseldorf; MACBA, Barcelona; MoMA, New York; Serralves Foundation, Porto; Tate Modern, London and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

The Script, Modern Art Oxford, UK

Akram Zaatari, Turner Contemporary, Kent, UK
The Fold - Space, time and the image, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
The Third Window, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Against Photography. A annotated history of the Arab Image Foundation, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
Letter to a Refusing Pilot, Modern Museet, Malmö, Sweden
The Script, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK

Against Photography. A annotated history of the Arab Image Foundation, Kunstsammlung NRW, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf, Germany
Double Take: Akram Zaatari and the Arab Image Foundation, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Against Photography. A annotated history of the Arab Image Foundation, MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain
Unfolding, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright, Galpao VB: Associação Cultural Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil
This Day At Ten, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
The Archaeology of Rumour, British School at Rome, Rome, Italy
Letter to a Refusing Pilot, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK

Unfolding, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Akram Zaatari, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey
This Day at Ten, WIELS: Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, Belgium
Akram Zaatari: The End of Time, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada

Letter to a Refusing Pilot, Lebanon Pavilion, 55th International Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Project 100: Akram Zaatari, MoMA, New York, USA
This Day at Ten, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
All is Well, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston University, Ontario, Canada

This Day at Ten, Magasin - Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France
Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA
The End, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
The Uneasy Subject, MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico
Akram Zaatari, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Composition for Two Wings, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

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

Akram Zaatari, Laboratories of Aubervillliers, Aubervillliers, France

Earth of Endless Secrets, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon; Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon; Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany

ART Statements, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland

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

Mapping Sitting, in collaboration with Walid Raad, Grey Art Gallery, New York, USA

Unfolding, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany
Mapping Sitting. On Portraiture and Photography, in collaboration with Walid Raad, Centre Pour l’Image Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland

Mapping Sitting. On Portraiture and Photography, in collaboration with Walid Raad, SK Die Photographische Sammlung, Cologne, Germany
Mapping Sitting. On Portraiture and Photography, in collaboration with Walid Raad, KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels, Belgium

The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

Darat al Funun, The Kahlid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan


Selected Group Exhibitions

Making New Time, Sharjah Biennial 14, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE

Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands
What is Utopia?, Galleria Civica, Modena, Italy
9th Arab Film Festival Berlin - ALFILM, Berlin, Germany
The Dictionary of Evil, Gangwon International Biennale, Gangwon, South Korea
Truth is black, write over it with a mirage’s light, Darat al Funun, The Kahlid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan
Beirut, Beyrut, Beyrouth, Beyrout, Oslo Kunstforening, Oslo, Norway
Unboxing Photographs. Working in the Photo Archive, Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, Germany
Fast Forward Festival Five, ONASSIS Cultural Center, Athens, Greece

In Rebellion. Female Narratives In The Arab World, Valencia Museum of Modern Art, Valencia, Spain
Letter to a refusing pilot, MOMENTA I biennial de l’image - What Does the Image Stand For?, Quebec, Canada
No to the Invasion: Breakdowns and Side Effects, CCS Bard, New York, USA
The Written Language of Reality, CCS Bard, New York, USA
Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbours, MAXXI, Rome, Italy
Forms of Resistance, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Ireland
Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of the Sea: Arab Modern and Contemporary Works From The Barjeel Art Foundation, Katzen Arts Centre, Washington D.C, USA
How Close Could We Get to the Light and Survive?: Why Are We Here Now?, Curated by Rabih Mroué, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Germany
ISelf Collection: The End of Love, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
A Cross Border Selection of the Artium Collection, The Artium Museum, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Between Myth and Fright. The Mediterranean as conflict, Institut Valencia d’art Modern, Valencia, Spain
The Human Document, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK
In Search of The Present, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland
Question the Wall Itself, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, USA
Art From Elsewhere: International Contemporary Art from UK Galleries, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
An Imagined Museum: Works from the Centre Pompidou, the Tate and the MMK, Museum Fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
A History: Contemporary Art from the Centre Pompidou, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

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

4th International Canakkale Biennial, Çanakkale, Turkey
10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea
Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan
Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York, USA
(Mis) Understanding Photography Works and Manifestos, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
A Guest Without a Host is a Ghost, Contemporary Image Collective & Townhouse, Cairo, Egypt

fALSEfAKES, Centre de la Photoraphie, Geneva, Switzerland
‘Ici, Ailleurs (Here, Elsewhere)’, Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
Regen Project, Los Angeles, California, USA

Mediacity Seoul 2012, Seoul, South Korea
When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, California, USA
Six Lines of Flight: Geographies in Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, USA
The Unexpected Guest, Liverpool Biennial, UK
dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany
Arab Express: The Latest Art form the Arab World, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Private, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany
Subversion, Cornerhouse Manchester, Manchester, UK

Mapping Subjectivity, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Distant Star, Kurimanzutto Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico; Regen Projects, Los Angeles, California, USA
Beirut, Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna, Austria
Seeing is Believing, KW Berlin, Berlin, Germany
17th International Contemporary Art Festival, SESC & Videobrasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jean Genet, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
12 Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
Told - Untold - Retold, Mathaf, Doha, Qatar
Photography: New documentary forms, Tate Modern, London, UK
Mapping Subjectivity, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Sharjah Biennial 10, Sharjah, UAE

Play van Abbe Part 3. The Politics of Collecting - The Collecting of Politics, Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
The Tradition of the Future - The Future of Tradition, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

Closer, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Tarjama / Translation, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
EN TODAS AS PARTES. Everywhere. Sexual Diversity Policies in Art, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, A Coruña, Spain
Indicated by Signs, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany

Bursts of Borders: New Acquisitions, FRAC Provence-Alpes, Cote d’Azur, France
The worried: five artists under the pressure of war, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
In the Middle of the Middle, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Torino Triennale 2008, Torino, Italy
Scenes of the South II: Eastern Mediterranean, Carré d’Art, Nîmes, France
Art Now in Lebanon, Darat al Funun, The Kahlid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan

Oh Girl, It’s a Boy!, Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany
52 Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
MEDITERRÀNIA(ES), Centre d’Art La Panera, Lerida, Spain
Geopoetics, Centro José Guerrero, Granada, Spain
Thermocline of Art - New Asian Waves, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany
Thessaloniki Biennale 1, Thessaloniki, Greece

27 Sao Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil
6th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea
15th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Out of Beirut, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK

Leaps of Faith, An international arts project for the Green Line, Nicosia, Cyprus
Masculinities, NBK Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Flight 405, Sfeir Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

SENI, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Nam June Paik Award exhibition, Dortmund, Germany
LIFT, Part of the exhibition: Laughter, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Bargehouse, London, UK

Substream, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Worldwide Video Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Possible Narratives, Videobrasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Disorientation, Haus der Kulturen der Werlt, Berlin, Germany

HomeWorks, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon
Haunted by Detail, Die Appel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ayloul Festival, Beirut, Lebanon


Works in Public Collections

Barjeel Collection, Dubai, UAE
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA
Tate Modern, London, UK
Global Arts, London, UK
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Arco Foundation, Madrid, Spain
Center Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Kadist Foundation, Paris, France
TBA21, Vienna, Austria



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 Walid 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 & Residencies

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

DAAD, Berlin Artists Program, Berlin, Germany

Recollets, Paris, France
Bellagio Center, The Rockefeller Foundation, Italy

FAIR PLAY Video Art Festival Berlin, 1st Prize for Red Chewing Gum, Berlin, Germany

Prix Son - FID Marseilles for This Day, Marseilles, France

Grand Award - Ismailia Short & Doc Film Festival for Her + Him Van Leo, Ismailia, Egypt

Jury Award - VideoLisboa for Red Chewing Gum, Lisbon, Portugal

Grand Award - Antalya Golden Orange Festival for Crazy of You, Antalya, Turkey
Best documentary & best director, Beirut Film Festival for Crazy of You, Beirut, Lebanon

Banff Center for the Arts, Banff, Canada


Film & Video Screenings/Festivals (Selections)

Exhibition on the Table, ArtHub, Shanghai, China

17th Internationales Festival Zeitgenössischer Kunst, SCSE Videobrazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Images, Toronto, Canada

Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen, Germany
SANFIC, Santiago, Chile

Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes, France

Tate Modern, London, UK

Videobrasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Disorientation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany