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.
Charbel Haber is a Lebanese musician, performer & composer from Beirut. Co-founder and member of longstanding Lebanese post-rock group, Scrambled Eggs Haber’s work encompasses a wide range of disciplines and styles such as film, video art and theatre, both as a solo artist and as a member of Scrambled Eggs, Malayeen (Discrepant, 2014), Johnny Kafta Anti Vegetarian Orchestra (Discrepant, 2016) and The Bunny Tylers (Ruptured, 2017). As a solo artist, Haber has collaborated with various visual artists and composed music for a variety of film and theatre performances. Both in and outside his native Lebanon.