no ground, no fence, no rise, no breeze, no gras, no path, no sea
During May 2017, Kunsthalle3000 moved into the ruins of an house on the peninusula of Dalieh of Rouche at the coastline of Beirut.
Dalieh of Rouche is one of the last natural spots left on the city’s coastline, combining a rich social life with a diversity of topographical and geological features. Here, visitors enter a wild and hilly area that brings them directly to the sea. For a select few the attributes of this place have translated into an understanding of its value that is purely economic, leading to its systematic privatisation through dubious means. While private parties continue to propose urban and commercial development for the area, activists such as the The Civil Campaign To Protect Dalieh Of Raouche continue in turn to fight for Dalieh’s long tradition of public access, and to preserve the site as natural and cultural asset to the city of Beirut. The ruin of the house can be considered as an allegory for this conflict of interests: an intermediate moment and a fragile equilibrium between persistence and change. Kunsthalle3000-Beirut was realised in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Libanon.
As of May 2nd
The Garden of Forgiveness
The Garden of Forgiveness, (also known as Hadiqat As-Samah in Arabic), is an oasis of serenity and contemplation within a frenetic city. Natural and man-made layers and events drift in and out of focus – held either within its surface or momentarily brought to it from outside. This time, instead of hiding behind the myth of unity, The Garden of Forgiveness claims to cleanse the sins of those who have assaulted, raped or killed in Beirut’s Dalieh; despite the fact that it is not really in the facility of a garden to do so. Its anticlimactic stones bear witness to a climactic sea-view that is worth assaulting, raping and killing an entire city for.
Art in public space
The ongoing photo collage series Art in public space is a free and oversized gesture of placing potential sculptures inside public spaces, disregarding the environmental and social context of this actual place.
The intervention took place between the entrance of Dalieh – a removed part of metallic guardrail at the Corniche – until the spot of Kunsthalle3000. All the cardboard detritus was collected, burned, and rubbed onto the remaining surfaces of the ruin.
Still minimal, the intervention affected only slightly the general landscape: there was still detritus everywhere afterwards, just not cardboard. And the ruin turned from ochre to grey, suddenly appearing in the all-over sandy landscape.
Dressed in grey, wearing grey masks and gloves, the selective cleaners collected, on the path to the Kunsthalle3000, the picnic leftovers – sandwich paper, juice cans, cigarette boxes, coffee cups, tissues, … – with metallic grabbers, before incinerating them in a metallic barrel and rubbing them on the ruin.
A concrete floor, parts of walls and other remains scattered here and there, this delimitated perimeter – hence serving as a picnic spot today – was celebrated as a ruin: a leftover itself, which might hardly remain.
The wind might scatter away the ashes, maybe to the sea, achieving the funeral-like ceremony and bringing back the ruin to its original colour, or the heat will sinter them into the stone making them ruin matter.
May 13, 5pm
Overlooking and Panoramic (Part 1)
A lady in a red dancing dress and heels walks down to Kunsthalle3000. On her way down she picks up some flowers. She enters the ruins, turns on Arabic music and starts dancing. After a while, she takes a tape out of her bag and stretches it through the ruin. She puts two signs on the tape saying 'For Sale: A land proper for a water reservoir or an overlooking house'.
May 14, 6pm
Overlooking and Panoramic (Part 2)
A lady in a yellow dancing dress and heels walks down to Kunsthalle3000. On her way down she picks up some flowers. She enters the ruins, turns on Arabic music and starts dancing. After a while, she takes a tape out of her bag and stretches it through the ruin. She puts two signs on the tape saying 'For Sale: A land proper for a water reservoir or an overlooking house'.
Beer BottleOn the site of Dalieh by the sea, one can notice the numerous scatters of broken beer glass bottles on the ground. Drinking then smashing a beer bottle in the green and wild surroundings, seems like a natural way to “dematerialize” a moment of enjoyment. The liquid content of the beer has vanished, and by breaking the noticeably green glass bottle, one also attempts to do just that, make it vanish. The shattered green pieces look camouflaged in the surrounding landscape, and with time, they will erode with the natural forces of wind and water and eventually be broken into tiny glass particles invisibly blended with the sand.
In her new artwork for Kunsthalle 3000, Aoun attempts to freeze that moment of “dematerialization” by breaking her own beer bottle against the wall of the ruin and have the broken and shattered glass pieces fly and land on a readily wet and mixed layer of concrete. By freezing the fated position of the glass pieces into the concrete, and therefore greatly slowing any process of erosion, Aoun attempts to “re-materialize” that moment. Thus making us look closer at the purity, integrity and reality of material from a seemingly fleeting and ephemeral moment.
A curtain has been installed to a barbed wire at the entrance to Dalieh: as a portal and sensitive experience for those who enter and as a tribute to the richness of nature that lies beyond.
May 19, 6pm
ذو الصوت (Voice)Hashem Adnan's setting of two megaphones invited the audience to enter an intimate conversation with the performer and to speak through voices about the voices and sounds that shape our city.
May 20, 4pm
Rani al Rajji
A few hours by the seaUrban storyteller Rani al Rajji took the audience on a narrative tour and mental travel based on the novel 'There is no sea in Beirut' and personal fictions, creating a reflection about the public space of Beirut.
New Order'New Order' brings together fragments of various ruins from the site. These pieces were cut and re-assembled to continue an existing ruin and to create and actively enacted memorial that tells about the history and transformation of this very site.
… 2 weeks later
'New Order' by Christian Zahr was transformed into 'Very New Order' by the police.