Mounira Al Solh

“I filmed myself walking in an in-between space. Unlike usually, the more I came closer to the camera, the smaller my image became till I disappeared.”

Bio:
Born in Lebanon in 1978.
Studied painting in the Lebanese University and is currently graduating from the Free Direction Art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands. She has participated in several group exhibitions and workshops in Lebanon and various countries such as Syria, Libya the Netherlands and Cape Town.

Statement:
My sister Maria who’s 19 years old is thinking about where to go for her studies. Which country? On the menu: Nederland, France, England, America, … When I was her age, I thought about Italy, France, America, Canada … We all know that Maria and I are only two typical samples of the ‘a priori’ Lebanese immigrant. Are we really happy to immigrate, or are we forced to immigrate, those are two wide and different notions. Perhaps it could be a combined action. But what’s more interesting is that even without physically immigrating, we the Lebanese, are cultural immigrants, or as Abbas Baydoun said ‘cultural nomads’. Despite the fact that in various fields, the world has been lately speaking about cultural nomadism, ours was part of us since the first day Lebanon was conceived. Michel Chiha, one of the chief founders of the concept of Lebanon in 1947 reckoned that we owed since eighty years already (from that date) to the western educational system, all our logical values, including the Sciences of Physics and Chemistry, the Natural Sciences, Biology, Mathematics, etc… And this wasn’t different concerning our Art values.
I did have to face this cultural nomadism when I moved to Amsterdam to study for a three-year period. This distance away from Beirut, and having to explain who I was to the others, helped me start reconstructing some facets of my superfluous yet well hooked nomadism.
During those years I worked mainly on videos where visually, text is as important as image, and in content text is necessary to complete the image and manipulate its significance. “As if I don’t fit there ” is in the form of a presentation about ‘ex-artists’, or artists who have quit being artists, perhaps to find a better job in a better world. Most of these characters are immigrants, and since they are no one else then myself, they enable me to settle in the middle of some spots in the Western Art world, to question my understanding to evident things in it.  
Jorges Louis Borges, Christian Yankowski, Walid Raad, Lina Saneh, Rabih Mroueh, and Yael Bartana are among the artists and writers that influenced me mostly during this period.

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