Lebanese filmmakers and artists, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige create thematic, conceptual and formal links through photography, video installations, films and documentaries. With the exhibition, Se souvenir de la lumière (Two Suns in a Sunset), Jeu de Paume, Paris offers a perspective on the entirety of their artistic and cinematographic projects from the late 1990s to present.
The exhibition explores the artist duo’s relationship with image and narratives, the different approaches and strategies they have employed and the diverse investigations that they have immersed themselves in. Both self-taught artists, a significant volume of their works revolves around their own personal histories in the wake of the Lebanese civil wars and their encounters with various people.
“Our work concerns the present and not the past, even if the latter comes back to haunt the living. [The aim is to] go back in time without nostalgia, by continually activating the
past in the present, and capturing it’s effect.” – Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige
Joana and Khalil use political and personal documents as starting points for their artistic collaborations. Furthermore, their work often explores attempts to rewrite or create history as well as to fictionalise actual events. Recently, the artists explored a forgotten Lebanese space project when a group of students actually designed, built and launched rockets for space exploration in the 1960s. Again, in another one of their projects, the artists explore the creation of imaginary histories and stories by way of internet scams and spam messages. With a combination of films and installations, the artists examine the ideas of a history corrupted, forgotten or imagined so as to stimulate the viewer to rethink, feel and question the notion of normal.
The exhibition also presents two new works by the artists, including Remembering the light and ISMYRNA. ISMYRNA, a film co-produced by Jeu de Paume, revolves around artist Joana’s vision of her paternal hometown, Ismyrna (now Izmyr) in Turkey, a place that her family was forced out of and that she had never set foot in. In the process, her film delves into our ideas of borders, belonging and identity and our attachment to places, objects and history.
The exhibition of Hadjithomas and Joreige’s works was first presented at the Sharjah Art Foundation in Spring 2016, before being exhibited for the first time in Europe at Jeu de Paume, Paris. The exhibition will travel to the Haus der Kunst, Munich, and in 2017, to the IVAM in Valencia.
Where: Jeu de Paume, 1, Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Dates: June 7, 2016 to September 22, 2016
Timings: Wednesday to Sunday (11 am to 7 pm), Tuesday (11 am to 9 pm). Closed on Mondays
Tariff: €10 (Full), €7.50 (Reduced)
More information: Jeu de Paume’s website