From March 9, 2023 to April 25, 2023

Galerie Tanit, Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon

(Left) Laetita Hakim & Tarek Haddad, Entity (2), 2019, Inkjet Print on Epson Enhanced Cotton Paper, 25 cm x 25 cm, Ed of 5 + 2 AP. (Right) Elias Nafaa, The Fall 1 (part of diptych), 2023, Cedar Wood Shrouded in White Paint, 40 cm x 30 cm x 2 cm, Ed of 2 + 1 AP

[...] these bodies of work serve to engage the artists and the public in a dialogue on the depths of the interrelation between power and loss, examining the consequences of their ebb and flow.

This exhibition brings together two bodies of work that explore the interplay between power  and loss, drawing on both personal and collective experiences. It offers a thought-provoking  exploration of how power dynamics shape our experience of loss, and how our perceptions,  memories, and interpretations of loss can, in turn, shape our political realities. This interplay hints  at a cyclical pattern of growth and decline, which is dependent on specific circumstances,  historical events, and a series of actions, reactions, and inactions. 

In Laetitia Hakim and Tarek Haddad’s How to Stop a Rock from Growing, the paradox of power  is studied to understand the dynamics of social systems. The project, born out of frustration in  the face of political stagnation during the October 2019 revolution, explores power imbalances  in a metaphorical Rock-Paper-Scissors game, in which the loss of one element renders the field  unequal. The artists examine questions such as how dominance is maintained and challenged,  what heightens our susceptibility to damage and collapse, and what renders our state  meaningless and incoherent. By delving into the notions of changes in rules and loss of  equilibrium, while investigating the material characteristics of the elements of the game, the  duo presents a visual commentary on power struggle, fragility, and absurdity. 

In Eulogy to my Roots, Elias Nafaa takes us through the processions of grief. He delves into the  internal dynamics of uprooting, rerouting, and total downfall. In the aftermath of a fire that  consumed his land and the passing of his grand-father, Nafaa longs for detachment. Choosing  to get away from the communal grief, although hinting at some of its rituals, the artist goes  through a very personal dissociative process, aiming to separate land and man. His work takes  the form of reliefs commemorating the act of liberation. However, he seeks to question it at the  end: would uprooting oneself, getting away from our anchors, lead to true freedom? Should we  accept the cost of disillusionment and decline to gain said freedom? And how do we adapt our  conflicting emotions and memories to the complex nature of loss? 

Ranging from contemplative and introspective to bold and confrontational, these bodies of work serve to engage the artists and the public in a dialogue on the depths of the interrelation  between power and loss, examining the consequences of their ebb and flow. 

– Marc Mouarkech

Elias Nafaa     

Elias Nafaa is an artist living and working in Lebanon. His practice is informed by his background in architecture. He looks into space as a place of storytelling, shedding light on the political through the personal; his work is highly subjective, often non-linear, and spatially nuanced.

His work has been featured at MACAM, and was presented as part of the collective exhibition Togetherness at Galerie Tanit, Beirut. In 2021, he was the youngest artist selected to exhibit at Lights of Lebanon: modern and contemporary art from 1950 to today at the Arab World Institute (IMA) in Paris (France). In 2022, he presented his first solo exhibition Impulsions at ArtLab, Beirut.

Elias participated in both the CATAPULT.visual’arts programme by the British Council and NAFAS programme by the French Institute completing artists residencies in Arbroath, Edinburgh and Paris.

He is currently part of the Home Workspace programme by Ashkal Alwan.

His work is part of the Donation Claude et France Lemand, Musée de l’IMA.


Laetitia Hakim & Tarek Haddad     

Laetitia Hakim and Tarek Haddad are Lebanese photographers whose joint practice is based on complementarity, duality, playfulness, and materiality. Their works stem from an ongoing conversation revolving around the actuality that marks them and the spaces they interact with and inhabit. They tackle notions such as forced separation, the perpetuity of loss, and the dynamics of social interactions, primarily dealing with Lebanon’s contemporaneity and the events that have been occurring since the October 2019 revolution. Their approach consists of stepping back, reflecting, and then responding to the events in question.

“A stretch of water” which they had conceived for the Togetherness exhibition at Galerie Tanit in 2021 has been exhibited at Au bords du monde vivent nos vertiges at the Abbaye de Jumièges in France in 2022, and at Tashatott at Kiosk, Gent, in Belgium in 2023.

They have received the Fondation Boghossian’s Visual Arts residency-award in 2022.

Laetitia Hakim is the 2022 laureate of the “les femmes s’exposent” Lebanon prize in France, and an upcoming resident at the Cité des Arts, in Paris. Tarek Haddad is pursuing his master’s degree in photography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, and is currently an artist in residence with the Saradar Foundation in Lebanon. They have both pursued a B.A. in photography at NDU-Louaize Lebanon.


Elias Nafaa

Laetitia Hakim & Tarek Haddad