From November 17, 2016 to January 7, 2017

Galerie Tanit, Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon

These repressed myths reveal obscured, unrepresented, and yet still powerful aspects of Arab history and collective memory. Uncovering these myths offers a more in-depth and nuanced perspective on the Arab people, their culture and religions­. It involves an alternative storytelling that challenges the master narrative produced by successive systems of domination, religious or secular; thus challenging the dominant discourses that shape political identities by making visible the current symbolic constructions of religious and political storylines.

Using the diorama – literally “Through that which is seen”-, Randa Mirza questions the forms of representing and exhibiting narratives affected by aniconism, an interest expressed in previous photographic installations. Her research is a continuity of the use of the diorama, be it theatrical or didactic; an apparatus invented in the nineteenth century in France. The photographer refers also to the wonder box – Sandouk al ferjeh – used by the itinerant storytellers in the Mediterranean in the twentieth century. By coupling pre-cinematic aesthetics and different forms of expression such as photography, video, performing arts and sculpture, this project questions the time of the gaze; its poetry, its economy and its critique.


Randa Mirza