Artist

Akram Zaatari

Akram Zaatari was born in Saida, Lebanon in 1966 and lives in Beirut. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the American University of Beirut in 1989, and a Master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York in 1995. He worked at Future Television in Beirut between 1995-1997 where he produced most of his early videos which mainly focused on exploring the documentary and the formal possibilities provided by video as a medium. His departure from television coincided with his co-founding of the Arab Image Foundation through which he developed his study project on photography and his ideas on collecting as an art practice.

Zaatari’s work is deeply invested in researching photographic practices in the Middle East, examining how photography serves to shape notions of aesthetics, postures and social codes. He is interested in looking at the present through a wealth of past photographic records that he collects. Since 1999, Zaatari has been focusing on the archive of Studio Shehrazade in Saida, Lebanon studying, indexing, and presenting the work of photographer Hashem el Madani (1928 -) as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices.

Zaatari’s work reflects on the shifting nature of borders and the production and circulation of images in the context of the current political divisions in the Middle East. His videos and photographic installations look into technologies of image production and communication and the notions of surveillance, exploring the ways different media apparatuses get employed in the service of power, resistance, and memory.

His work has been shown at Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Grey Art Gallery (NYU), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Munich Kunstverein, Lisson Gallery (London), MUSAC (Leon, Spain), Sfeir Semler Gallery (Beirut/Hamburg), and the Van Abbe Museum. He took part in the Torino Triennale 2008, and the biennales of Venice 2007, Gawangju, Sydney and Sao Paolo 2006. Retrospectives of his video work have been presented at the Tate Modern, French Cinematheque, Festival des 3 Continents / Nantes, and Oberhausen Short Film Festival. His videos have been shown at film festivals such as the Berlinale, FID/Marseille, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Videobrasil.

Videography

Twenty Eight nights and A Poem

2015, 105:00 minutes, colour, Arabic with English subtitles

Beirut (Exploded Views)

2014, 28:00 minutes, colour, No language

Letter to a Refusing Pilot

2013, 34:00 minutes, colour, No language

The End of Time

2013, 14:00 minutes, colour, English

Time Capsule Kassel

2012, 07:24 minutes, colour, ENGLISH

Tomorrrow Everything Will Be Alright

2010, 12:00 minutes, colour, English

On Photography People and Modern Times

2010, 38:00 minutes, colour, Arabic

Video in 5 Movements

2008, 08:45 minutes, colour, English

Nature Morte

2008, 11:00 minutes

In This House (Fi Haza Al-Bayt)

2005, 30:00 minutes, colour

Al Yaoum (This Day)

2003, 86:00 minutes, Colour/B&W, Arabic & Eng

The singular of seeing

2003, 18:00 minutes, Colour, English

Baalbeck

2001, 60:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Her + Him

2001, 32:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w English subtitles

How I Love You

2001, 29:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Red Chewing Gum

2000, 10:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

All is well on the Border

1997, 43:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Majounak (Crazy of You)

1997, 26:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Akram Zaatari Compilation #1

1996, 27:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Akram Zaatari Compilation #2

1995, 11:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Home: 4 Episodes

1994, 35:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.

Critical Writing

Two or three things I know about him
by Mark Westmoreland. MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2012.
Out of Beirut: Living Contradiction
by T. J. Demos. Artforum, Oct. 2006, v. 45, no. 2.
What Is That and between Arab Women and Video?: The Case of Beirut
by Laura U. Marks. Camera Obscura, 2003, v. 18, no. 3.
The Singular of Seeing (Al Marra min Nazar)
by Akram Zaatari. HomeWorks: A Forum on Cultural Practices in the Region (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria), 2003. Beirut: Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, 2003.
What is That and between Arab Women and Video?: The Case of Beirut
by Laura U. Marks. Camera Obscura, 2003, v. 18, no. 3.
Home Show
by Amy Karlinsky. Home Show, Sept. 12 Summer, 2002.
Transit visa to the Labyrinth
by Jalal Tawfiq. Transit visa on video and cities, 2001. Beirut: Transit visa, 2001.