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Fri Art opens Rabih Mroué's first Swiss solo exhibition
Video still of one of Rabih Mroué's artworks (Shooting Images, 2013).

FRIBOURG.- For his first Swiss solo exhibition, a collaboration between Fri Art and the Belluard Bollwerk International Festival, Lebanese artist Rabih Mroué (*1967) has hand-picked a number of his recent works which explore how subjective and collective narratives, coupled with the media, influence the construction of historical accounts.

Rabih Mroué belongs to the generation of Lebanese artists who came to prominence in the immediate period after the official end of the civil war in 1990.

As well as being a stage and film director, scriptwriter and actor – starring most notably alongside Catherine Deneuve in Je veux voir, a film by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige – Rabih Mroué is a visual artist whose work includes video, photography and installation art.

His work is directly influenced by experiences of living and working in a turbulent political climate and the shattering impact of civil war on day-to- day life. In a country like Lebanon, where communities are unable to agree on a common past, memories are loaded with ideological connotations. Rabih Mroué explores this process of constructing history, while at the same time probing the mechanisms of repressing, obliterating or disappearing memories.

“I am not telling in order to remember. On the contrary, I am doing so to make sure that I’ve for- gotten some things, that they were erased from my memory. When I am certain that I’ve forgotten, I attempt to remember what it is that I’ve forgot- ten. And while attempting to remember, I start guessing and saying: perhaps, maybe, it’s possi- ble, it might be, probably, it can be, it looks like, it seems that, I am not sure but, etc…”

Through photography and video, Mroué documents and analyses the problems inherent in the use of images, the machinery of storytelling and the construction of historical and personal narratives. His work deconstructs ideological discourse and the media depiction of events, the factual details of which frequently seem to be borne out more by the images thereof than how they were experienced by the actual protagonists.

The artist has put together a brand-new installation designed especially for Fri-Art, as well as selecting a series of photographs, films and video installations from the last three years. The exhibition is an opportunity for the public to acquaint themselves with a complex body of work that is both political and poetic, and that deals not only with experiences of the Lebanese Civil War but also universal historical and cultural issues.

Born in 1967, Rabih Mroué lives and works in Beirut and Berlin. Most recently he exhibited at Salt in Istanbul (2014), dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel (2012) and Manifesta 8 in Murcia (2009).

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