On I Stared At Beauty So Much

  • Introduction

    I Stared At Beauty So Much is a series video and photographic works, which ask the question: how can poetry be pitted against the chaos of today’s world? The series addresses the question by focusing on the place where these modes – of fiction and the real – intersect, and blur. In the film Waiting for the Barbarians, for example, Hadjithomas and Joreige begin with Constantine Cavafy’s eponymous poem of 1909, which describes a society gripped within an anxious state of xenophobia, waiting for the other to arrive. From this point of departure Hadjithomas and Joreige explore panoramic images of Beirut, shifting from mobile to immobile, from the general to the constantly excavated detail. In this world, the city becomes a place of dynamism, in which one instant, identity or language is impossible to separate from another. This blurred relationship between reality and fiction is also the subject of the documentary ISMYRNA, in conversation with Etel Adnan. Here, Joana and Etel meet to discuss their shared familial relationship to the city of Izmir (formerly known as Smyrna), a place where neither had ever set foot. Yet through the stories transmitted to them, both created fictions of their own.

    I Stared At Beauty So Much is composed of multiple installations including:
    Part 1: Two Suns in a Sunset
    Part 2: Remember the Light
    Part 3: ISMYRNA
    Part 4: Waiting for the Barbarians
    Part 5: Where is My Mind?