A Return of the Sun features works by 14 artists and artist groups who challenge the relationship between violence and its representations, to reveal the various latent and out of sight violences in our environments, how to recognise, see and sense them. The exhibition directly addresses what no longer can remain out of sight, what has come to the fore, deeply harming communities for generations past and yet to come. At the same time, it grapples with the question of how to recognise that which lurks in the shadows of time and out of the frame, especially during an unprecedented time of incessant flooding of audiovisual media and information overload.
In its most recognised image, violence is often associated with an event or a spectacle. However, other forms of violence that move at a pace too slow to trace, continue to surface – at a seemingly accelerated pace. They appear as waste dumps, toxic landfills, degradation of natural resources, and the wide and far human mark within our environments. Through sculpture, drawing, sound and moving image, the exhibition proposes more complex questions on those decades-long manifestations of systems of dominance, extraction and capital. The works claw at how we can intervene representationally or otherwise, so that attempts to lay bare the structures of violences do not simply render them as the ‘standard’ again. Furthermore, they gesture at a necessity to better understand the intricately networked web between the different types of violences we experience in our environments and over time; both invisible or latent and the more obvious forms of power structures and relations.
A Return of the Sun takes its title from Samih Al-Qasim’s poem ‘Enemy of the Sun’; a timeless incantation to not compromise to time, but to also trust it. The limitations of visualizing temporal changes in our environments have a deep role in this unfolding slow violence. Through the new and varied conversations between the exhibited works, the exhibition hopes to open up to other possible realities.
Alia Farid, Aziz Hazara, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Christian Sleiman, Haig Aivazian, Inas Halabi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Jumana Manna, Kıymet Daştan, Lamia Abukhadra, Nadia Bseiso, Omnia Sabry, Rania Stephan, Saba Innab
Curated by Reem Shadid
Press release from Beirut Art Center