Leila Heller Gallery presents artistic work by Katya A. Traboulsi

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Leila Heller Gallery presents artistic work by Katya A. Traboulsi
Installation view of KATYA TRABOULSI: PERPETUAL IDENTITIES, April 26 – September 1, 2023.

DUBAI.- Leila Heller Gallery is hosting Beirut based multimedia artist Katya A. Traboulsi’s solo show ‘Perpetual Identities’ until September 1, 2023. Katya through her art talks about identity as a force that no war can eliminate and that bounces back inevitably. During the Lebanese Civil War, in 1975, she received the empty sleeve of a mortar shell for her birthday, which automatically found its place on a shelf, without further reflection on its nature or the journey which led it to her. Thus, the object, which had blindly sown death where it fell, ended up in her room, raised to the status of a trophy celebrating the courage of fighters or the defeat of enemies. In 2014, as the Arab Springs wilted into winters, the memory of this object, trinket or trophy, called on to Katya again. Reflections on the mortar shell inspired an installation project which sought to divert the weapon from its morbid destiny and make it serve Life.

The depiction of the shell dressed in a variety (46) of symbolic cultural execution, is the physical and spiritual core of the ‘Perpetual Identities’ project. Each one is handmade, using different materials, including ceramics, porcelain, resin, wood, and iron. Each titled with a country’s name, most are produced by their native artisans. The dimension of these objects being 75 x 20 cm, its base and top are made of brass and/or iron. The shell is a symbol of destruction and renewal, with its distinctive shape, has become one of the most violent symbols of destruction and invasion in history since the invention of the canon. These 46 shells, adorned with the arts and crafts of various countries, become body of designs, themes and skills; bearing the glory of every person and inviting them to join in the universal sentiment of Humanity.

The shell becomes like a ‘book’, an inventory of myths, of traditions of embodied know-how, and invites the discovery of the “Other”. Now its otherwise deadly one-way trajectory becomes an exchange. The shell becomes an ‘arrow’ and sows not death, but knowledge and civilization in the territory of the “Other”. Its scope becomes sociological, theological and philosophical. The many cultures and societies involved in the project enrich the object with seemingly infinite meanings. As part of the process, cultural identities were constantly added as a palimpsest, until the mortar became enriched with reflections and revelations. The mission of this transformed object is to celebrate the glory of Humanity. Removing its primary function permits it to carry universal and immortal messages. The mortar as art transcends its destructive origin and it becomes a melting-pot of perpetual identities.

Katya’s creations are inspired by historical events. The artisans that took part in the project are the perpetual memory of that history, glorifying through their artistic talent the heritage of their identity. An object of death forgotten on a dusty shelf, found itself rehabilitated, transfigured in the sparkling whiteness of a museum, a place of beauty and life. Also endangered are the identities sacrificed on the altar of globalization which imposes an aseptic and effective language, gradually leading to the loss of ancestral know-how, language, tools and its land. Since humans perpetuate by nature, interactions with other cultures enriches and develops our identities, a heritage rooted in our mother land, our past and our culture.

The other part of this exhibition is Katya’s unique collection of painted rear doors of trucks titled ‘Rej3a ya mama’, which as a statement is a reminder of the impatient wait for the return of those who had to leave their homeland. This was inspired by her desire to collaborate with the traditional creators of these designed rear doors and to share their knowledge with her art. In Katya’s words, each truck tells a story, of life, beliefs and love. A moment of driving behind a truck can facilitate a connection with the driver’s story, beliefs and fears, through the graphics and text on the rear door. This project is also an homage to the city of Tripoli in Lebanon and to their tireless truck drivers whose work connects regions and lives without distinction for religious or political differences. Painted with the owner’s identity, the truck doors become a mode of communication with the onlookers; through images, symbols and lyrics acting as memory markers. These designed doors and tailgates that close on life goods have been an opening door for Katya to a new life and artistic experience.

Born in 1960, Katya A. Traboulsi is a Beirut based multimedia artist whose practice is characterized by the emotional intensity with which she confronts the effects of the Lebanese civil war. Both her painting and sculptural works are characterized by her bold use of colour, which disrupts the viewer’s expectations of the dark subject matter they are confronted with. Her solo exhibition Perpetual Identities (2018) held at the Salah Barakat Gallery saw presented 46 handcrafted replicas of Lebanese war bomb shells adorned with colourful patterns, beads and sculpted forms, thus transforming these destructive military objects into beautiful, ornate vessels.

In 2013, Traboulsi published Generation War, a body of work that traces the story of photojournalists who witnessed the civil war during the 80s – an homage to their efforts and a political project that seeks to record the country’s complex histories. Traboulsi lived and worked in Dubaï from 1989 till 2016 before returning to her native Beirut. Her work has been exhibited internationally since 1986 in Paris, London, Dubai, Kuwait, North America, the Algerian museum of Modern Art and the International Armory Show in NYC.

Today's News

May 28, 2023

At 99, painter Richard Mayhew is still upending expectations

An iconic wine store and the mystery of the missing bottles

Want to be an artist? You're in luck. This one is selling his practice.

Exhibition at David Zwirner presents new paintings by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans

Berlin police investigate Roger Waters after he wore Nazi-style costumes at concerts

Decades old? No problem: Publisher makes a bet on aging books

Group exhibition 'Borrowed Landscapes' is now on view at Blum & Poe

Phillips announces highlights included in June Design Auction

Fernanda Fragateiro & Haleh Redjaian on view at valerie traan_gallery

'Essence of Nature: Pre-Raphaelites to British Impressionists' opens at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery

Fondazione MAST opens an exhibitiion of works by Andreas Gursky

Leila Heller Gallery presents artistic work by Katya A. Traboulsi

Oolite Arts' visionary leader Dennis Scholl to retire

'Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next' opens at Melbourne Museum

Gianni Colombo: A Space Odyssey retrospective by the Milanese artist to celebrate 30th anniversary of his death

Public Matters: Contemporary art in the Belevedere Garden on view until October 2023

BRICK CITY exhibition featuring global iconic architecture recreated From LEGO® bricks

Rijksmuseum receives largest donation in its history to support annual sculpture exhibitions

Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin announces retirement of Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Review: Problematic attachments in 'Aspects of Love'

Brian Calvin's exhibition 'Still' now on view in Venice

Two premieres reflect the ups and downs of a major flute project

A Kurdish Turkish writer on the tensions between politics and art

'Work Hard Have Fun Make History' review: Labor, meet greed

James Acaster finds his way back to music

Importance of Hiring a Professional Web Design Company: A Comprehensive Guide

Five Points of Calvinism

How to Get the Best Quality Photo Prints?

Protecting Your Assets During Divorce: How Tulsa Attorneys Can Help

Unveiling the Splendor: The Continuum Condo - A Luxurious Haven of Timeless Elegance

The Role of Reflective Practise in Teachers' Professional Development

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful