Uncertain Times, Lamia Joreige

Marfa’ Contemporary Art Gallery

Walking into the exhibition ‘Uncertain Times' by Lamia Joreige at Marfa’ art gallery in Beirut, one is immediately transported into history and thought through the artist’s considerable draughtsmanship and research.
Artworks composed of drawings, photographs and documents adorn the walls, engaging the viewer in upon entering the gallery space, stirring up a sense of curiosity to get up close to each artwork and find out more. 

Artist Lamia Joreige presents her research, writings and creative artistic work on the end of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of the French and English mandate in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine (1914- 1920), covering The Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour Declaration, as well as the First World War and the famine of Mount Lebanon.

Historical events are highlighted across Joreige’s body of work, yet the artist does not wish to relay a historical account, instead, through art, Joreige brings forth historical perspectives and weaves a thread across time, pensive onto the feeling of uncertainty that has and continues to spread from generation to generation. 
Thus the title of the exhibition, ‘Uncertain Times’ resonates on several folds, from history to current times; the Lebanon currently enduring a severe economic crisis on the heals of the heartbreaking devastation of the 4th August 2022, a devastation that had vastly affected the contemporary art gallery Marfa’, having unfortunately most of its interiors destroyed into debris; with time, healing the gallery back into action. 

The works of art by Lamia Joreige fusing drawing, writing and archival documents that Marfa’ gallery is presently displaying in the exhibition ‘Uncertain Times’ with a short video ‘Sun and Sea’ made at the invitation of Etel Adnan for her first poem written in French in 1949, refer back to an epoch that concerns many from the region and beyond. 

Art traversing time and showcasing its capacity to urge contemplation. Catch the must see exhibition in Beirut until the 27th January, and if you don’t get a chance to see it, then check it out online alongside other works at Marfa’ contemporary art gallery. 

All artworks by Lamia Joreige, part of the exhibition 'Uncertain Times' by Lamia Joreige at Marfa' contemporary art gallery in Beirut.

Photos taken at the exhibition, copyright of artworks to the artist @ Lamia Joreige and the gallery @ Marfa'

Lamia Joreige is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Beirut. She earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied painting and filmmaking. She uses archival documents and elements of fiction to reflect on history and its possible narration and on the relationship between individual stories and collective memory. Her practice, rooted in her country’s experience, explores the possibilities of representing the Lebanese wars and their aftermath, particularly in Beirut, a city at the center of her imagery.

Joreige’s artworks have been presented internationally in various exhibitions and venues, among which: The Istanbul Biennial, Centre Pompidou and Musée Nicéphore Niépce (France); Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, the New Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Taymour Grahne Gallery (US); Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Serpentine Gallery and Cardiff National Museum (UK); Sharjah Biennial (UAE) and Galerie Tanit and Art Factum (Lebanon).

She presented her films in festivals and venues such as FID Marseille; Medfilm Festival, Rome; Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin; Home Works I, IV & VII, Beirut; Paris Cinema; The Mediterranean Festival of Cinema, Montpellier; Beirut Cinema Days.
Her work is part of public and private collections across the world, such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris ; Tate Modern, London ; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah ; MATHAF, Doha ; Ars Aevi collection for Sarajevo Contemporary Art Museum, Sarajevo ; Nicéphore Niépce Museum, Chalon- Sur-Saone; Fonds régional d’art contemporain, Bretagne; Banque Libano- Francaise, Saradar Collection and Bank Audi, Beirut.

Lamia Joreige is the recipient of a fellowship at Columbia University Institute of Ideas and Imagination in Paris (2021).

She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for the year 2016-2017 and was shortlisted for Artes Mundi 7, the United Kingdom’s leading biennial art prize.
She is a cofounder and board member of Beirut Art Center, which she codirected from 2009 to 2014


 Still from short video ‘Sun and Sea’ by Lamia Joreige, made at the invitation of Etel Adnan for her first poem written in French in 1949, part of the exhibition 'Uncertain Times' at Marfa'


Marfa’ works with local and regional artists to produce and present idea-based projects that engage with Beirut’s diverse contemporary art scene.

Marfa’ Projects was founded by Joumana Asseily in 2015 and builds on her deep links with the city’s independent non-profit art scene. The gallery is located in two garages near the customs house in the Marfa’ neighborhood, which means port in Arabic. Beirut’s port has long been one of the foundations of the city’s economic life, a key transit point for goods and information between Lebanon and the world.

On August 4th, 2020 Beirut was decimated by a criminally negligent bomb resulting in over 200 deaths, 6,000 seriously injured; and 300,000 people left without homes. This unimaginable tragedy took place in the port, the heart of Beirut. The neighbourhood where we have lived and worked for the past five years was destroyed, including Marfa’s gallery space.

On May 21, 2021, the gallery reopened its space with a group show titled Water, reuniting all the artists of the gallery.