Fair:Play 2006
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Ziad Abillama (LB) / “Nature and Drugs” - 2004 - 02:52 min

.: Statement

“In this video we disbelieve that the Lebanese war is a natural phenomena. Is the local vegetable seller an expert in natural affairs? Does he fear artificial paradises? Can he distinguish the potatoes from the kiwis?
We have met, these recent past years, an impossibility to write an unified history of Lebanon. This is not simply a moment of loss characteristic of the postwar years. Such an inability to write a history is at the core of failed cultural practices and signifies the threat of repeating war practices.
I have tried with my videos to write historical moments rather than a totalizing account on Lebanese subjectivity. These attempts aim at disrupting the flow of dominant histories that tend to reify western academic practices and fail to see Lebanon's war as a signifying moment for rethinking western rationality in general, and Lebanese cultural practices in particular.”
-Ziad Abillama

.: Biography

“Ziad Abillama works and lives in Lebanon a country rapidly disappearing like Venice under the waters of prejudice and ignorance. Ziad was reborn in the U.S. during the first Gulf War in 1991. He returned to Lebanon in 1992 to confront and unsettle his uneasy belonging to a right wing Christian family. His early work consisting of installations and interventions may be considered as a relentless unlearning of his privileges.
Deceived by the over-politicisation of Lebanese youth, he shrinked back from politics in art and returned from 1998 to 2003 to sculpture and design. But this soon appeared to be a dead end. If politicisation in art is a problem, he now chose to deal with it instead of escaping it. These are the stakes of his involvement in video from 2003 to 2005.”
-Ziad Abillama, 25/5/06

.: Education and selected exhibitions

USA/Studies in the visual arts/Rhode Island school of Design
USA/Amherst College
Direct Expression: Forum for rethinking the Israelo/Palestinian conflict.
Graduates with an installation on the first Gulf War.
Lebanon/Installation on the necessity to map out the Lebanese war as a site for the re-appropriation of Lebanese consciousness.
Lebanon/participation in the contest for the reconstruction of downtown Beirut with the architect Bernard Khoury.
Lebanon/Installation- Intervention: Sanayeh the impossible community.
Berlin/The political unconsciousness of exotic travels.
Lebanon/Intervention in the SAD (Salon des Artistes Décorateurs)
Reconsideration of the shortcomings of Lebanese Nationalist Ideology.
Reconstruction as the unsettled debt to modern west philosophy.
Lebanonsculpture exhibition. No politics.
Lebanon/studies at ALBA. Specialisation in Art & Video with Ricardo Mbarkho.
Lebanon/Sculpture exhibition. No politics.
Graduation from ALBA. Video as tool to reconsider rationally the Lebanese past.
Artistic collective work. Sexuality and desire as alternatives to pathological warfare.
-Ziad Abillama


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