Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility

Aref El Rayess, Untitled, 1977–78

Aref El Rayess, Untitled, 1977–78. Installation view, Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility, 2022 © Gropius Bau, Foto: Luca Girardini

Wed to Mon 10:00 to 19:00, Thu 10:00 to 21:00
Tue closed

Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility revisits a turbulent chapter in global modernism in Beirut from the 1958 Lebanon crisis to 1975, the year that witnessed the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War. The exhibition showcases a heterogeneous mix of artists whose drive for formal innovation was matched only by the tenacity of their political convictions.

About the exhibition

Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragilitymaps out a brief but rich period of artistic and political ferment. A continuous influx of intellectuals and cultural practitioners from across the Middle East and Arabic-speaking North Africa flowed into Beirut over the course of three turbulent decades marked by revolutions, coups and wars across the regions. Encouraged in part by the Lebanese banking secrecy law of 1956, a stream of foreign capital also flowed into the city. New commercial galleries, independent art spaces and museums flourished. Beirut was bursting at the seams, not only with people, but also with ideas. Yet beneath the surface of a glistening golden age of prosperity, antagonisms festered before eventually exploding in a 15-year civil war.

With a comprehensive multi-media installation by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, created specifically for the exhibition

With works by Shafic Abboud, Etel Adnan, Farid Aouad, Dia al-Azzawi, Alfred Basbous, Joseph Basbous, Michel Basbous, Assadour Bezdikian, Huguette Caland, Rafic Charaf, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Georges Doche, Simone Fattal, Laure Ghorayeb, Paul Guiragossian, Farid Haddad, John Hadidian, Joana Hadjithomas, Jumana Bayazid El-Husseini, Khalil Joreige, Dorothy Salhab Kazemi, Helen El-Khal, Simone Baltaxé Martayan, Jamil Molaeb, Fateh al-Moudarres, Nicolas Moufarrege, Mehdi Moutashar, Aref El Rayess, Adel al-Saghir, Mahmoud Said, Nadia Saikali, Hashim Samarchi, Mona Saudi, Juliana Seraphim, Cici Sursock and Khalil Zgaib

Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility is curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Associate Curators, Gropius Bau (since 1 January 2022 Directors at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin). The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the 16th edition of the Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art.

To the exhibition imprint

Partners: Wall, YorckKinogruppe
Media partners: Arte, BerlinArtLink, Kulturradio, Monopol, Tagesspiegel

The exhibition is funded by