C&K Galerie, Berlin
We present the internationally acclaimed German-Lebanese artist Said Baalbaki, who commutes between oriental and occidental cultures.
Baalbaki developed a highly charged, multifaceted installation Mon(t) Liban, in which he juxtaposes various classical mediums such as painting, drawing, print and sculpture. The typography Mon(t) Liban (neon) as the centre of the installation reflects the conceptual idea: This title is a play on words: the French words "mon" (my) and "mont" (mount) have different meanings but are pronounced the same, embodying the ambivalence of his artistic identity.
Baalbaki, who grew up during the Lebanese Civil War, discusses in this installation the dichotomy of destruction and escape on the one hand and the beauty of home on the other. The artist expands his biographical experiences in these works with general questions about the mechanisms of perception, the construction of knowledge, truth and authenticity, which are strongly influenced by different cultures, religions and historical events. His focus on myths, both past and present, is particularly pertinent. The installation includes, for example, over-sized meandering bronze belts and the sculpture of a birdcatcher (Gallows), which act as ciphers, indicating different meanings, depending on the culture and memory. With Mon (t) Liban, Baalbaki shines the spotlight on the reflection of global realities of historical, social and cultural developments. In light of the current refugee crisis, Baalbaki’s imagery of fleeing, of homelessness, and of uncertainty feel particularly poignant.