From November 29, 2023 to December 29, 2023

Jad El Khoury, Soft Shields Map, 2023

Soft Shields is a project born in the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion, which weaves together narratives gathered during Jad El Khoury’s field research. Wandering through the most impacted streets, the artist engaged with homeowners and collected their stories, testimonies and experiences of August 4th, 2020. The familiar sight of Beirut’s balconies and their colorful curtains underwent a dramatic transformation, where the symbolically and practically protective fabric was shattered. During his field research, El Khoury offered to replace the torn curtains and installed new ones for 13 houses in Beirut.

El Khoury transformed the remnants into an immersive installation, weaving together the personal stories of the residents, while highlighting the symbolic significance of Beirut’s typical landmarks – the balcony curtains. Visitors are invited to wander through the installation and to encounter the stories and textiles up close.

Balcony curtains of Beirut have been a recurring medium in Jad El Khoury’s artistic practice. In his project Burj El Hawa (2018), the artist transformed The Murr Tower into a choreographed installation dancing with the wind. El Khoury also utilized Beirut curtains in his Master’s graduation project Healing Blanket (2022).

Artists

Jad El Khoury