Hammer Museum

Hammer Projects: Marwa Arsanios

17 Sep 2016 - 08 Jan 2017

Hammer Projects: Marwa Arsanios
installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, September 17, 2016–January 8, 2017. Photo: Brian Forrest.
17 September 2016 - 8 January 2017

Marwa Arsanios’s first exhibition in Los Angeles is a wide-ranging look into the mounting garbage crisis in Beirut and the city’s recent real estate boom.
Through architectural renderings and models, video, and topographic maps, the artist Marwa Arsanios addresses the changing landscape of Beirut, the city where she lives and works, which has been marked by the rapid development of its urban spaces and burdened by a recent garbage crisis. Drawing a parallel between two distinct narratives in Beirut’s recent history, Arsanios’s research takes aim at the aftermath of the neoliberal project that took shape at the beginning of the 1990s, in the years immediately following the end of Lebanese Civil War. After the closure of Naameh landfill outside of the city in summer 2015, thousands of tons of garbage filled the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, leading to public outcry and accusations of government corruption. Although the recent growth of art museums and other cultural institutions throughout the city, alongside a boom in commercial real estate development, has increased Beirut’s international profile, a number of building projects remain fallow, and overflowing landfills threaten the city’s environment and the health of its population. A new project by Arsanios speculates on these developments as part of ongoing issues in Beirut’s history, while pointing to the broader political, social, and cultural implications for Lebanon.

Hammer Projects: Marwa Arsanios is organized by Aram Moshayedi, curator, with MacKenzie Stevens, curatorial assistant.

Marwa Arsanios (b. 1978, Washington DC, lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon) received her MFA from University of the Arts London in 2007, and was a researcher in the Fine Art department at Jan Van Eyck Academie from 2011 to 2012. She has had solo exhibitions at Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2016), Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015), and Art in General, New York (2015). Her work was also shown at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), Home Works Forum in Beirut (2010, 2013, 2015), the New Museum, New York (2014), M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium (2013), and nGbK, Berlin (2012). Screenings of her videos have taken place at the Berlinale, Berlin (2010, 2015), e-flux storefront, New York (2009), and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011). In 2012 Arsanios was awarded the special prize of the Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize.

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