…A Faraway Souvenir
Lambda photo print (6 meters)
In collaboration with Ahmad Gharbieh
In 2001, the 34 electric poles of Ouzai avenue, situated in a popular area of the Shia suburbs of Beirut, were photographed on both sides and listed, from north to south. Each pole carries frames, each frame contains a photo, that of a young man, a “martyr”. Some frames are empty, as if expecting future martyrs (See in publications, the text “A State of Latency”
on the notion of the empty frame).
In 2007, the 34 poles of Ouzai avenue were repainted, the avenue resurfaced, but, because of the passage of time, the photos of the martyrs are fading away in their frames. They can no longer be recognized ; often all that is left of it is just a ghostly outline haunting those frames. We photographed them again in 2007 and placed them next to the images of 2001, set out in a long frieze that raises the question of the future of those images, the memory of History and, more generally, that of heroes of old wars in the face of heroes of new wars.
“A Faraway Souvenir” is shown in a large photo frieze, about 6 meters long, made up of the photos of the martyrs hung on the electricity poles of Ouzai avenue, in Beirut, which we systematically photographed in 2001 and again in 2007. The visitor walks along the frieze which presents side by side the photos of 2001 and 2007.