Memory as Art // Art as Memory by Michelle Flagg, Spring 2010
I created this page as a study of how Lamia Joreige, a contemporary Lebanese artist, presents memory as both art and history through her work. Throughout and since the Lebanese War (1975-1990), the people of Lebanon have used personal memories of events, individuals, and spaces, in the place of official accounts of the war, in order to recall and understand all that was changed or lost by wartime destruction. In my analysis, I look specifically at two film projects of Joreige, and how the messages expressed by these films fit into the wartime and post-war context of the capital city of Lebanon, Beirut. In assessing Joreige’s work, we see how individuals use and react to the many triggers and storage objects of memory—photographs, old household objects, video footage—in their recollection of the war. By sharing these compilations of personal memories, collected and edited by Joreige, I hope to stress the ambiguous nature of Beirut’s history, and highlight the growing art movement in Lebanon that strives to augment and respond to this uncertain remembrance of the capital city’s past.