Baalbeck Studios Beirut is an interdisciplinary collaboration between students from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut and the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, together with Joseph Rustom and Sandra Schäfer and in partnership with UMAM Documentation & Research in Beirut and Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin. We are fortunate to participate in the archiving processes of Baalbeck Studios in Beirut, a film production company that operated from 1962 to 1994 and was of immense local and international importance. In 2010, the Lebanese cultural organisation UMAM was able to save a large amount of the archival material from destruction. Working with partly inaccessible film, sound, and paper material as well as the ruins of the building, our project investigates Baalbeck Studios’ imaginaries, resonances, diffusions, erosions, contaminations, and composting of materials and memories. We will share this process in Kassel as an installation with a stage-like set comprising sounds, film, and other materials harvested as part of our collective working process. The Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut and the Academy of Fine Arts Munich are part of the Composting Knowledge Network of documenta fifteen.
Starting on June 16, a first activation will take place at the Composting Knowledge Network’s premises at Hafenstraße 76 in Kassel. A second activation will occur from August 12 to 16, also in Kassel. At the end of July, there will be a sneak preview at the annual exhibition at the art academy in Munich.
With Georges Azzi, Monika Borgmann, Nathalie Rosa Bucher, Mohamad Bzih, Paola Faddoul, Anne Gauger, Christina Georges, Benjamin Gerull, Kathrin Herold, Elias Khoury, Magdalena Kratzer, Marie Lyne Mokbel, Ayman Nahle, Lucia Ott, Markus Ruff, Joseph Rustom, Anja Schäfer, Sandra Schäfer, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Karen Stephan and Manuela Unverdorben
With financial support from the Goethe-Institut Beirut, ALBA Beirut, and the Akademieverein Munich.