Charbel-joseph H. Boutros
Three Abstractions on Three Histories, 2016
On loan to the exhibition The Sun is my Only Ally at S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium
Curated by: Philippe Van Cauteren
Charbel-joseph H. Boutros was born in Lebanon in 1981 and grew up during the Lebanese war. These events are not directly visible in his work, but have a haunting presence. As the title suggests, the artist is fascinated by the elusive and invisible. His artworks take the form of installations that capture, record or indicate these and other imperceptible sensations such as light, obscurity, breathing and sleep.
The Sun is My Only Ally is an exhibition within an exhibition and includes both recent and new work. The first exhibition pays homage to The Distance between Your Eyes and the Sun, a presentation that the artist made at the Beirut Art Center in 2019 for Home Works 8, Ashkal Alwan. However, the day after the opening, this exhibition was immediately closed due to the political unrest in the city. Boutros has developed the second exhibition as an envelope of reflections on the periphery of the first.
In Three Abstractions on Three Histories, 3 shirts apparently similar, hang high from the ground. They seem to belong to the same person, but in reality one belonged to the artist's grandfather, the second to his father and the third to the artist. Each refers to a time, and contains a part of the Lebanese history.