Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity
Opening reception: Thursday 20 June, 18:00 to 21:00
Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity investigates the site of Baalbek. It reconstructs a complex network of histories and readings, encompassing the pre-historic origins of the site, its rise to prominence, mythologies, functions, occupations, appropriations, its role in identity politics, its role in modern national and political agenda, its hosting of the Baalbek International Festival, and its contemporary reality. The project brings together archaeological, ethnographic, anthropological, cultural, and artistic perspectives to unpack the history of Baablbek from its origins to the contemporary moment. It attempts to ascertain if, and how, Baalbek operates as a signifier, a point of reference, and an identity marker throughout history.
Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity is organized with the collaboration of the Baalbeck International Festival.
Vali Mahlouji is a London-based curator, founder of Archaeology of the Final Decade, independent advisor to the British Museum, and director of Kaveh Golestan Estate. Mahlouji’s recent work includes exhibitions at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo; Whitechapel Gallery; Photo London; Prince Claus Fund; Singapore International Festival of Arts; Art Dubai Modern; Bergen Triennial; Open Eye Gallery; Dhaka Art Summit 2018; SAVVY Contemporary; and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow. Mahlouji has been published by various institutions, including Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Guggenheim Museum; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; Photo London, Encyclopædia Iranica, Columbia University; Asia Society Museum New York; Sharjah Biennial; and City University New York. Recent talks and lectures by Mahlouji have taken place at Stanford University; Yale University; Goldsmiths University; SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin; Para Site, Hong Kong; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia; Kultuforum, Berlin; Lahore Literary Festival; Irish Museum of Modern Art; Bergen Assembly; Asia Society, New York; Whitechapel Gallery; and the British Film Institute; among others.