Ayla Hibri

A palm tree bows to the moon


The Beirut Art Residency and Kaph Books are pleased to present “A Palm Tree Bows to the Moon”, the first solo exhibition and book launch of Lebanese photographer and visual artist Ayla Hibri in Beirut.

From details found in nature to cities, Hibri seems to capture archetypes, events and motifs that serve to inform the spirit as it journeys through different life stages in search of inner wholeness. In her black & white photographs, variations in subject matter serve to emphasize the intertwining of the visible and the invisible, of the conscious and unconscious, in relation to the self and the environment it dwells in.

Taking place at the Abroyan factory in Bourj Hamoud, the Armenian hub, the abandoned space once served as a working place for hundreds of people. With its high ceilings and timelessly flawed walls, the factory stands as a witness to the passage of time and the endurance against it.

Similarly, the series of photographs in A Palm Tree Bows to the Moon conveys both the ephemeral and the eternal. Hibri shows us that by tuning in to the universe’s interventions, patterns and synchronicities, and perceiving them as carriers of symbolic markers, we can be alerted to the mysterious which hides in plain sight, such that order can emerge from the chaos of being. These phenomena have meanings which can stretch from the mundane to the cosmic, by virtue of the beholder’s imagination.

The exhibition is accompanied by a sound installation created by Lebanese musician and composers Charbel Haber and Jad Atoui. «The music, similar to dreams, a constant reminder of a certain birth, a certain death, and an uncertain rebirth. These granular soundscapes, a lingering memory of all the grains of sand on the many beaches of the cosmos. A fading Polaroid of a palm tree that bows to the moon.» - Charbel Haber. Their collaboration brings all of the senses together, positioning the photographs within a hypnotic realm that oscillates between obscurity and enlightenment.

About the artist;
Ayla Hibri (b. in 1987 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a visual artist with a BA from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) followed by a degree in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). For the last decade Hibri has been in constant travel, shifting environments to maintain a continuum of displacement and discovery. Through the act of walking, exploring, and active observation, she has collected an expansive archive of visual data on the psychogeography of places and aspects of the human condition.

Hibri has exhibited widely in several galleries, institutions and festivals including Jaou Tunis, Tunisia (2018); 87 Artistes Pour Le Peuple Kurde Paris, France (2016); Red studios, Sao Paolo, Brazil (2015); ISTANBUL’74 gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Cuadro Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2013); Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris, France (2013), Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2011) and more. Hibri’s photographic series have been featured in different publications worldwide including The Guardian, The Wire, Brownbook Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Kaleidoscope and more. A Palm Tree Bows To The Moon (published by Kaph Books) is her second book after The Real Prince (published by OODEE).

Exhibition runs until April 5.