(Kan ya ma Kan) There was and there was not

From the artist:

“This installation, serves to examine the representation of ‘Lebanon’, and its history as constructed in our collective and individual psyches.  Lebanon has been used as a metaphor, as a ‘site’ serving the real and imaginary for various ‘visitors’ throughout its history.  It has been a ground for continuous claims, discursive texts and acts of re-construction. It has become an adjective for the nostalgia of our past and the fears of the future.  We have come to understand so very little in spite of the massive amounts of information we have received regarding Lebanon, that for one to even mention the name all sorts of images come to mind.

The installation is a transposition of a working studio and found archive, presenting the ‘resources’ and artifacts necessary to re-construct an understanding of the mediated  process inherent in the definition and perception of a culture.  Here the viewer is part of that process, being forced to make decisions and to take responsibility for re-constructing their own cultural perceptions.  The installation is set up as a pseudo scientific research lab/studio paralleling/exposing my own productions/projects in Lebanon and challenging the immense history of the production of knowledge of Lebanon and the Middle East. Incorporating objects collected in Lebanon, archival materials, documents, maps, photographs, light boxes and videotape loops, the installation calls into question our notions of history and research methodology, their role in the effacement of histories, and the layers involved in depiction/representation and understanding of another culture.”