Zad Moultaka: ŠamaŠ


Zad Moultaka: ŠamaŠ

A touring presentation of the Lebanese Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial, 2017
1 June, 2018 to 25 June, 2018
Special Exhibitions Hall, Level -2
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”
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    Installation view of “ŠamaŠ.”

Under the Patronage of Mrs. Nadia Aoun, First Lady of Lebanon, the Sursock Museum is pleased to invite you to the opening of Zad Moultaka: ŠamaŠ on Thursday 31 May 2018, from 18:00 to 21:00.


About the exhibition

ŠamaŠ, the project of the Lebanese Pavilion for the 57th Venice Biennal, intends to be at the center of the questioning of the sacred in the very heart of Man through a spatial, temporal, and sound dialogue between sites of terrible violence past, present, and future, full of symbolic power of the Near East. ŠamaŠ is rooted mentally, physically, and philosophically in the refusal of the drama that we are witnessing in this solar region of the world, that is the Middle East, the cradle of eastern and western civilizations. The Arab apocalypse, which threatens to put an end to these civilizations, is not unavoidable. Today’s Man has been ripped from the soil and fallen down from the sky. Deaf and blind to the essence of things, he is programming his own obliteration, hastening with it, by anxiety, the crumbling of the world.

ŠamaŠ is a touring presentation of the Lebanese Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial, 2017. The Sursock Museum is its point of departure. It will then go on to be presented in Finland, Norway, the UK, and Australia.

To mark the opening of ŠamaŠ, a chorus performance will take place in the exhibition space on Thursday 31 May, at 18:00. Moultaka’s new original creation for 32 singers takes its text from the hymn to the Sumerian god of justice, drawing on an Akkadian lexicon of mutilated words, amputated as if after the deflagration of a missile falling right in the middle of the language. It will be performed by the chorus of the Antonine University, Lebanon under the direction of Toufic Maatouk.


Curated by: Emmanuel Daydé

Produced by: Nadine Saddi Zaccour


This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the following:

Partners: Alfa, Anonymous, Mount Lebanon Hospital, and Association Philippe Jabre.
Sponsors: Banque du Liban, Mr. and Mrs. Zafer Chaoui, and BSL BANK.

Supporters: LIA Insurance, Chorus of the Antonine University, direction: Toufic Maatouk, Ministry of Culture, Walid Abi Nader, Jacques Abou Khaled, Joe Nacouzi, Gregory Buchakjian, Mirros Communication, Marie-Christine Abou Sleiman, Hôtel Alexandre, and Château Marsyas.

Special thanks to: Nadine Majdalani Begdache and Mr. Jamal Jarrah


About the artist

Zad Moultaka (b. 1967, Lebanon) lives and works between Beirut and Paris. As a composer and visual artist, Moultaka has been exploring these two worlds for many years, seeking to harmonize musical and visual research. At the invitation of major festivals, he has created: Zàrani (2002), Nepsis (2005, based on a poem by Etel Adnan); La Scala del Cielo (2006); L’Autre Rive (2009); La Passion selon Marie (2012); Il Regno dell’Acqua (2013); Hummus (2014); and La Passion d’Adonis (based on texts by the exiled Syrian poet Adonis, 2015-2016). As a visual artist, Moultaka has regularly exhibited his work in Lebanon, Venice, and Paris, including at the Institut du Monde Arabe, and in the framework of Nuit Blanche. In 2017, Moultaka created ŠamaŠ, a monumental visual and sound installation for the Lebanese Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial. The Sursock Museum will host ŠamaŠ in June 2018, prior to its exhibition in Finland, Norway, the UK, and Australia. In September 2018, Moultaka will present an in-situ work within the international trade fair in Tripoli, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. He is represented in Beirut by Galerie Janine Rubeiz.

Exhibition guide

Download the bilingual (English-Arabic) exhibition guide here.