The Album Series


The Album Series

From the Bonfils Obsession to the Quakers of Brummana
With Yasmine Chemali

Thursday 28 March, 19:00 to 20:30

In English
Free admission

The exhibition La Fabrique des illusions marks the occasion of launching a talk series on photographic albums. Physical albums from the Fouad Debbas Collection will be presented and read by artists and practitioners as an activation of the objects. These presentations will invite us to explore new ways of perceiving the photographic album. Through them, one can trace the development of photographic practices in the region and their representations in social, political, and artistic realms.

During the latter half of the 19th century, photographic studios heavily produced cartes de visite dedicated to portraiture, following a trend initiated by French photographer Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854. Usually albumen prints mounted on cardboard, these photographs were standardized to a 6 x 4 cm format, and were often gathered together in albums.

In this program, Yasmine Chemali presents a reading of a photo album: Various photographers, the “Friends” album, 1873-circa 1910, TFDC_193. This album contains 75 photographs of people from or close to the circle of the Quakers, a religious society living in Brummana. The talk will present the album and the Quaker community to explore the relationships between the community and the Bonfils family, who installed one of the first commercial photographic studios in the region.

These talks are programmed in parallel to the exhibition La Fabrique des illusions : Collection Fouad Debbas et commentaires contemporains, curated by François Cheval and Yasmine Chemali, on view from 22 February to 12 May 2019.

Yasmine Chemali is the Head of Collections at the Sursock Museum.