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Beirut Art Center (BAC) is a new non-profit association, space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon. An initiative of Lamia Joreige (artist), and Sandra Dagher (curator and director of Espace SD until its closing in 2007), the aim of the center is to produce, present and promote local and international contemporary art and cultural practice in a structure that is open and active throughout the year.
An unprecedented initiative in Beirut, the center constitutes a public space that makes art accessible to a large and growing audience of residents and visitors alike, who will be able to engage with rich and diverse range of contemporary art and cultural practice.
Along with its main exhibition space, BAC includes a screening and performance room, a mediatheque and a bookshop. BAC will also organize regular activities such as lectures, concerts, performances, video projections and workshops.
The purpose of BAC is to serve as a catalyst for the realization of contemporary art projects and for the interaction of local and international cultural players. In particular, the center supports local and regional contemporary artists, who face great difficulties due to the lack of financial and institutional support in this field.
The center is located in an industrial zone that visitors can easily access from all over the city. It is an independent, stand-alone building with 1,500 square meters of space divided across two floors, designed by architect Raed Abillama.
Beirut Art Center’s opening exhibition Closer (on view until 2 April 2009), features art works drawn from personal and intimate stories and, which create a space to reflect on experiences both common and unique, familiar and without precedent, public and intensely private. Often, these works shake our notions of reality by fictionalizing intimate stories and/or situating the artists as the subject/object of the work itself.
Participating artists: Jananne Al-Ani, Tony Chakar, Antoine D’Agata, Mona Hatoum, Emily Jacir, Jill Magid, Anri Sala, Lina Saneh, Lisa Steele, Akram Zaatari, Cynthia Zaven.
Founders and Executive Board: Sandra Dagher, Lamia Joreige, Bassam Kahwagi, Rabih Mroué and Maria Ousseimi.
Nadia Al Issa