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on becoming two
tony chakar


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tony chakar is an architect, writer and artist who lives and works in beirut. ever since his first intervention in a public space in 1999, his writings and public speeches have drawn a poetic and critical map of representations. chakar is concerned with those new forms of symbolic resistance at work in the conflicts ravaging his corner of the world; he is interested in the survival of ideologies and myths involved in, or opposed to liberal thought. of significant interest to him is the circulation of images and texts on social media, both vernacular and insurrectionary.
marie muracciole's commission to tony chakar was to take over beirut art center’s ground floor, and devise his own course in the space of the gallery. the aim of this stratagem is to play with and against a certain architecture and specific context, using as a starting point chakar’s relation to his different practices: architecture, text and language. every moment of the exhibition represents the material mutation of a specific gesture in his work, from the pages of a book growing to the size of a wall, or a map spread substituting itself to the reconstruction of an event or performative gesture. the exhibition provides the specific framework for a singular voice, one that is embodied in beirut; a context in which post-war antagonisms and divisions have resulted in complex artistic activity, which in turn gave way to a scene dependent on the requirements and standards of the art market.
in response to this evolution, chakar develops a dialectic of presence and forgetfulness that borrows from different areas of perception, and is furthermore echoed in the title of the exhibition: on becoming two is a defense of dissociation, doubt and critical distance. chakar cites the poet hölderlin: this conversation that we are. visitors will have access to a work begun twenty years ago, wherein the examination of beliefs that constitute modernity opens a poetic space, providing in the process a live quality to the sharing of knowledge.

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a retroactive monument for a chimerical city

all that is solid melts into air

all that is solid melts into air - detail

all that is solid melts into air - detail

the discourse of the last things before the first

of other worlds that are in this one

the discourse of the last things before the first - detail

tony chakar is a lebanese architect and writer whose work incorporates literature, philosophy, and theory, and has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally. his latest projects include the eighth day (2008), an ongoing project in the form of a lecture/performance; the sky over beirut (walking tours of the city, 2009), ashkal alwan, beirut; an endless quick nightmare (2011), project for med11 (the colombia biennial, 2011); one hundred thousand solitudes (2012), meeting points 6 (beirut, berlin, athens, 2011); the space of nun (lecture/performance, 2013); the dialogue that is us, 11th sharjah biennial (2013). he also contributes to art and architecture magazines, and teaches history of art and history of architecture at the académie libanaise des beaux arts (alba), balamand university.


  • >  marie muracciole interviews tony chakar en
  • >  documentation for teachers - on becoming two en
  • >  marie muracciole interviews tony chakar ar