Born in 1952 in Paris. Lives between Paris and Beirut. After earning a degree in architecture in London in 1979, he turns to photography, documenting daily life in war torn Lebanon. In 1984, his images are published in his first album Beyrouth Aller-Retour, a book on the life of a war-torn city. His work on the urban landscape of Marseille resulted in an exhibition at the Musée de la Vieille Charité in 1986 and developed into a sustained interest in photographing cities: Rome, Amman, Djibouti. In 1989 he joins the Rapho agency and wins the Prix Medicis Hors les Murs, spending a year in Egypt retracing the steps of Gustave Flaubert and Maxime Du Camp. In 1991 he takes part in a collective mission of capturing the aftermath of war in downtown Beirut. The work is published in an album Beirut City Centre by Editions du Cyprès, Paris and presented in an exhibition at the Paris Palais de Tokyo in 1993. The book has since become a landmark in the history of photography.
After the handshake between Israelis and Palestinians at the White House, he spends time in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, which resulted in the publication of Palestine, l'envers du miroir by Editions Hazan, Paris in 1996. Two other books followed almost simultaneously: Suite Egyptienne with Editions Actes Sud in 1997 and Liban Provisoire published by Hazan in 1998. In 1997 he co-creates the Beirut based Arab Image Foundation, an organization that seeks to archive and preserve photography from the region while also making the medium more accessible. The following year he moved to Turkey and produced an extensive photographic travelogue, the last of his purely photographic series. In 2002, he presents at the Paris Maison Européenne de la Photo a new collection of photographic compositions, incorporating sequential images to emphasize meaning, as well as his first video Lettres à Francine, based on his photographs of Turkey. A catalogue Sombres, is published by Marval. In 2003 he directs his second video Moving Out. An essay on photography La sagesse du photographe is published in Paris in 2004.
In 2005, back in Beirut, he shoots Welcome to Beirut, a video on everyday scenes in the city. In parallel, commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, he produces Civilisation, fake = real?, a photographic project on Dubai exhibited at the 6th Sharjah Biennial. Following the 2006 war in Lebanon, he creates On war and love, a photographic diary in 33 composite images. Among other venues, the work is shown at the 2007 Venice Biennale and is published in Paris the same year.
Between 2008-2009, he develops a new project What happened to my dreams, a photographic series of 32 visuals addressing a range of contemporary socio-political issues. This body of work is simultaneously shown in Dubai, Paris and Beirut. He then works on abandoned Soviet military bases, mainly in Eastern Europe. In the summer of 2011, along with an exhibition at the Beirut Art Centre, he publishes at Steidl an extensive catalogue called Be... longing. From 2012 to 2014, he is commissioned to make several works: Thessaloniki, a multi-ethnic past, photographic compositions inspired by Mark Mazower’s Salonica, shown in 2014 at the Byzantine Museum, as part of the PhotoBiennale; Atlantis, a slide show depicting Arafat’s journey from Beirut to Athens in 1982, shown at the 9th Gwangju biennale; Civil war, screened at the Halles of Schaerbeek in Brussels, and Re:Visiting Tarab, a documentary on Tarek Atoui’s musical project, screened in Sharjah in 2014. The same year, he presents at the Maison Européenne de la Photo in Paris Le plus beau jour, an installation made of multiple photographic layers based on Etel Adnan’s poem To be in a time of war, he shows Destructions at the Galerie Gilles Peyroulet in Paris and The lost Empire at The Third Line Gallery in Dubai. He also participates in group shows, namely at the Gwangju Art Museum and the New Museum in NY.
Between 2015 and 2020, he composes two books, Lettres à mon fils, a series of e-mails with an image and a text explaining the image, and Passing Time, an anthology of his photographs of Lebanon, with the help of Manal Khader and Gregory Buchakjian. He also transforms his work On War and Love into a film and he directs and edits The river and Nothing to lose. He does many exhibitions around the world, Moscow, London, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Umea, Rome, Beirut, Dubai, ArtBasel...He also takes pictures of the city of Dubai in view of a large exhibition during Expo 2020 and works in consignment for Amparo Museum in Puebla, Mexico.
Fouad El Khoury . Fishawi . 1988 . Inkjet print on fine art paper . 60 x 90 CM
Artists of the Gallery
Shirin Abu Shaqra
SADIK KWAISH AL FRAJI
Samia Osseiran Jumblatt
Catharina van Eetvelde