CHARBEL HABER- The Day Before (Farewell Letters to Ri)
The Beirut Art Residency is pleased to inaugurate the opening of our new office and exhibition space with Charbel Haber’s first photographic series taken on his 2015 travels through Gwangju in South Korea. The exhibition’s title, 'The Day Before (Farewell Letters to Ri)’, refers in synchronicity to both motifs of the series: nuclear holocaust and heartbreak.
Haber adopts a storyteller’s approach in the presentation of his work, punctuating each image with a ‘love letter’, allusive to an affair between two forbidden lovers; the wife of North Korean President Kim Jong-un and the artist himself. Whether at a dimly lit bus stop or by a fading mural behind a church, the scenes captured in Haber’s photographs are reminiscent of the hidden corners where the lovers would have held their trysts.
The artist envelops his viewers by submerging them into a narrative, using a visual language so nostalgic that these memories seem almost tactile. The exhibition presents a multi-layered assemblage of fictional and non-fictional relationships as the artist super-imposes his own personal love letters amongst this absurd affair, all in the context of a pre-cataclysmic era.
This is Charbel Haber's first art exhibition to materialize from his ongoing visual explorations.
About Charbel Haber
Lebanese musician, performer & composer, born in Beirut on June 1, 1978. Lives and works in Beirut.
Co-founder and member of Lebanese post-rock group Scrambled Eggs since 1998.Active contributor to Lebanese free improvisation festival Irtijal since 2002, and core member of MILL (Musique Improvisée Libre au Liban) association since 2002.
Founder of experimental music record label Those Kids Must Choke in 2004. The label has released 6 albums to the present day. Cofounder(with Al Maslakh) of experimental record label Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu in 2010.
Member of Lebanese free improvisation large ensemble, Moukhtabar Ensemble (2005-2007). Member and co-founder of free improvisation groups BAO, XEFM, The Johnny Kafta Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra and psychedelic Arabic music ensembles Malayeen and Orchestra Omar. Haber has collaborated with musicians and artists such as Gene Coleman, Justice Yeldham & The Dynamic Ribbon Machine, Jean Pallandre, Laurent Grappe, Tadahiko Yokogawa, Stéphane Rives, Radivision, Rohdri Davies, Jean Francois Pauvros, The Ex… He has also recorded and released collaborations with notable artists from the fields of free rock and improv, including Michael Zerang, Joseph Ghosn’s Discipline, David Stackenas, Mats Gustafson, Annette Krebs, Eddie Prevost and Sabu Toyozumi. Haber’s work encompasses film, video art, and theater, both as a solo artist and as a member of Scrambled Eggs. The latter have composed the soundtracks for long-feature films A Perfect Day and Je Veux Voir by Lebanese directors Khalil Joreige & Joanna Hadji Thomas. They have also contributed incidental music to Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab’s nominated feature The Last Man.
As a solo artist, Haber has collaborated with Lebanese video artists Lamia Joreige and Akram Zaatari. He has composed the music and performs in Rabih Mroueh and Lina Saneh’s theater performance Photo Romance(2010).