What we do

Temporary Art Platform (TAP) is a context-responsive curatorial platform founded on para-institutional modes of operation responding critically within shifting and dynamic situations. We are concerned with the development of social practice in Lebanon, the region, and the Global South through modes of participation, multi-disciplinary formats and decentralized locations. We have been actively working on small-scale pilot projects advocating for administrative reforms and a cultural policy in Lebanon through knowledge production on social practice, public art, and administrative and legal frameworks.

When TAP was founded in 2014, it positioned itself as a curatorial platform that actively responds to the needs of the different social and spatial contexts it operates within, through formats that best inform its practice. We identify a topic, a need, a site, a community, a theme, a question that we want to put at the core of our investigation, and then we define the format of the project and its methodology. The public sphere is an ever-widening concept and our interventions take these transformations into consideration. Forging partnerships with public and private institutions outside the art world and re-asserting collaborations at the core of our processes have been defining principles to all our endeavors. 

The formats we use:

Artist Residencies: artist residencies allow us to engage larger audiences in the participation and creation of social artworks as well as de-centralize art practice by going outside of Beirut (where most of the art scene happens) and into communities that don’t have access to contemporary art.

Public Art Commissions: TAP aims to create production opportunities for artists in Lebanon and ask them to take the space in which they are responding as a site of exploration.

Research projects: we are eager to contribute to the development of a cultural policy in Lebanon through knowledge production on social practice, public art and legal and administrative frameworks. Since 2015, we have organized a public round table, closed-door discussions / interviews, and published an online tool-guide on the production of public art in Lebanon

2018

Mathaf Mathaf / Chou Hayda

In November of 2017, people from across Beirut came to the National Museum and gave their voices to a number of objects in the collection. The people spoke to and for and about these objects from the past, and, in doing so, they revealed fragments of the present. They did not attempt to disclose a particular historical narrative. Nor did they attempt to create a fiction. They did not lie and they did not try to tell the truth.

Grounded in the participatory approach to art making; Mathaf Mathaf / Chou Hayda explores the ways in which the art object or artifact is imbued with social, political, moral, and personal meaning as it is received across time and within shifting cultural contexts. This audio guide is a culled experience of the present moment at the museum, facing these archeological objects with a contemporary view, bringing them into our lives now, and leaving a piece of our lives within their story.

For the making of the audioguide, artist Annabel Daou invited several groups of people to take part in accompanied visits to the National Museum of Beirut during which they were asked a series of questions, prompting them to reimagine the histories and purposes of objects in the collection. This collaboration captures language from the various participants’ responses and reworks them into a script that has been partly recorded by professional Lebanese actors (Julia Kassar and Georges Khabbaz) whose performed voices enable the institutional authority in the audio guide, while the smart, funny, and wildly historically inaccurate responses of the participants subvert it. It also playfully challenges the authority of official history; inviting imagination, speculation, and misunderstanding.

This commission positions the museum as a space that includes not only the voices of the artists, artisans, curators and historians but of the visitors who view and experience the collection in the present. Listen to the voices of the people of Beirut.

Mathaf Mathaf / Chou Hayda is an audio guide project by Annabel Daou and the people of Beirut, with the voices of Julia Kassar and Georges Khabbaz. The project was commissioned by BeMA in collaboration with TAP and with the partnership of the Directorate General of Antiquities and the National Museum of Beirut.

Panel: Museum objects as subjects: interpretative methods and art practice
May 24, 2018 | Beit Beirut

The panel explored ways in which museum collections can be used to activate alternative narratives commenting on our present time by means of interpretative methods, participatory commissions or artistic inquiries. How can we look at archeological / ethnographic artifacts outside the realm of the institutional and curatorial narratives they are framed within? How can these objects instigate other ways of seeing and listening inside and outside the museum? Annabel Daou, Ali Cherri, Avani Tanya, and Eric de Visscher presented responses based on their own work and research followed by a conversation moderated by art critic David Markus. Listen to the panel discussion.

Essay: Sounding the museum: A shared reflection on the Chou Hayda intervention at the National Museum of Beirut

Published in Curator: the Museum Journal | July 2019 Special Issue Volume 62 Number 3 “Sonic”

The essay addresses the project from the vantages of three voices involved in its creation: curator Amanda Abi Khalil, artist Annabel Daou, and composer Nadim Mishlawi. Each of the three responses address different aspects of the work’s artistic, political, curatorial, and museological implications. Read the full essay.

2017

Art Interventions on Dalieh

The Dalieh Campaign and Save Beirut Heritage designed a city-wide program to take place during the Ministry of Culture’s “Heritage Week” in May 2017 and the Beirut Design Week 2017 that includes talks and public discussions, site interventions and installations, school workshops and site visits, concerts and street fairs. The program aims to recognize citizens and city users as active partners in the battle to save the city’s heritage, and to enable them to voice their concerns about the market-led developments and laisser-faire governance that are changing the character and identity of Beirut.

In collaboration with The Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raouche, TAP invited contemporary artists Mustapha Jundi, Omar Fakhoury, Ieva Saudargaité Douaihi, Nadim Mishlawi, Raymond Gemayel, Ghassan Maasri, and artist collective Pascal Hachem and Rana Haddad (200gr.) to intervene on site.

Dalieh is one of our last open-access shared spaces in Beirut, the last free entry point to the sea along the city coast. Dalieh’s unique landscape and ecological features as well as its rich diversity of topographical and geological composition facing the iconic Pigeon Rock make it a favorite hang-out site for families and lovers, an exceptional spot for fishing and swimming activities for the local community.

Dalieh is threatened and is subject of dubious and corrupt privatization, its future is uncertain; image renderings of luxury resorts overlooking Raouche are already in circulation…

Monumental gestures (Omar Fakhoury) and intangible ones (Omar Fakhoury) participative approaches (Ghassan Maasri and Raymond Gemayel) and historical interpretations (Mustapha Jundi), absurd situations (Pascal Hachem and Rana Haddad) and didactic signs (Ieva Saudargaité), ephemeral place making (Kunsthalle 3000) and poetic listening (Nadim Mishlawi) grapple with experiential and performative ways of engaging with the site’s intrinsic human, natural and cultural values and features, involving new publics and expanding the understanding of contemporary art.

BeMA Residency // Jezzine

BeMA (the Beirut Museum of Art) in collaboration with Temporary Art Platform launched its second artists-in-residence program as part of the Museum’s outreach mission in Jezzine, South Lebanon in May 2017. This project falls under both associations’ interests in supporting contemporary art practices and engaging local communities across Lebanon through contextual art projects.

The residency examined issues related to water through research and a series of interdisciplinary activities. Jezzine’s legendary waterfall and abundance of water resources stemming from dams, rivers, lakes and streams inspired the theme of the residency.

Mo Abd-Ulla, Suzy Halajian, Christine Kettaneh, Ashraf Mtaweh, Hussein Nassereddine, and Mahmoud Safadi were selected following an open call, and conducted research and implemented site-specific projects using participatory methods and approaches.

A public program punctuated the residency with events and workshops addressing the theme of water in collaboration with local partners, guest-artists and speakers targeting both resident-artists and members of the Jezzine community.

Watch the documentary, shot and edited by filmmaker Zeina Aboul Hosn, on the residency and its participants, while also offering a glimpse into the lives of the local community and the history of Jezzine itself.

2016

Works on Paper (2016)

Works on paper is a series of artist interventions in four Lebanese newspapers – Assafir, Al Akhbar, The Daily Star, and L’Orient Le Jour.

The Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL) with the contribution of Temporary Art Platform commissioned twelve artists (Annabel Daou, Ahmad Ghossein, Daniele Genadry, Omar Fakhoury, Walid Sadek, Raafat Majzoub, Gilbert Hage, Ilaria Lupo, Caline Aoun, Sirine Fattouh, Haig Aivazian, and Nada Sehnaoui) to reflect upon the space and the physicality of the newspaper as a space for engagement with the public. On the last Saturday of the month – April, May & June 2016 – each newspaper printed one artist intervention within their pages.

The newspaper allows the coming together of content and form. These interventions reconsidered the associations the public may have with this popular everyday “space” and present a range of forms and dimensions that respond to, challenge, or alter the media. Once printed, these artist interventions allowed the public to claim ownership of the work as a tangible object that they can alter, use, and respond to.

The papers’ broad local distribution channels offered the artworks to circulate to a wider audience outside of the conventional realm of the arts, creating a greater potential for community engagement.

Ras Masqa Artist Residency

”The Museum in the Making” initiated by APEAL (Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon) with the contribution of Temporary Art Platform organized a one month artists- in-residence program that took place from March 18 to April 18, 2016, in the village of Ras Masqa. The program focused on the theme of “art education’’ by taking the village of Ras Masqa and its surroundings as a site of exploration.

Ali El Darsa, Youmna Geday, Raymond Gemayel, Ieva Saudargaité,  Petra Serhal and Myriam Boulos were selected by a jury following an open call.  They conducted research and implemented their proposals by living in the village, giving greater time and depth to explore the local context through the residency format.

A public program also fed the residency with discursive input based and developed according to the proposed projects by the participants. This program was shaped to fulfill the needs of both the artists in residence and the university students, creating bridges between the informal education formats of artistic practice / research and the academic program of the Lebanese University.

2015

The Tool-Guide (2015-ongoing)

A Few Things You Need to Know When Creating an Art Project in a Public Space in Lebanon

Taking legal frameworks as the main theme for 2015, Temporary Art Platform invited lawyer Nayla Geagea to work on a long term research project concerning the administrative/ logistical challenges and opportunities of producing art in the public sphere in Lebanon.

The research was originally conceived because of the obstacles artists faced while trying to obtain authorization from public and private entities. For this project, interviews were conducted with artists, curators, cultural managers and officials from the Municipality of Beirut and the Ministry of Culture among others. Apart from individual interviews, a diverse set of professionals were invited to take part in a group working session to evaluate the research and share their knowledge on the formal and informal ways of producing public space projects.

Temporary Art Platform published a downloadable online tool-guide in 2016 illustrating key issues and necessary approaches to contemporary art practices in the public domain. The goal is to forge partnerships in the future and provide technical support for the arts community to produce art in the public sphere while illuminating contemporary public art practice to public bodies.

A public round table was organized on November 20, 2015 at Ashkal Alwan with speakers Geoliane Arab, Nasri Brax, Roy Dib, and Mustapha Yammout, moderated by Amanda Abi Khalil and Nayla Geagea to discuss the outcomes of the research. 

There is no sea in Beirut

In the framework of the three-day symposium organized by the French Institute, the Orient Institute and the Beirut Municipality on public spaces, Temporary Art Platform commissioned Rani Al-Rajji for a performative city walk that took place on May 23, 2015 (made possible with the support of the French Institute).

There is no sea in Beirut tells stories of a city, a harbor, a shoreline and a public space in search for an identity in constant escape.

2014

Meziara International Artist Residency

 A one-month program took place in the village of Meziara (Northern Lebanon). The focus of the residency was an industrial complex sited in the oak forest that surrounds the village. Concerned for the ecological damage caused by these commercial activities, the village municipality was finalizing plans to relocate the site.

The program offered participants the opportunity to engage with the site and the local area, address environmental issues and adopt a responsive engagement with that environment and the immediate community to create public interventions.

This residency was organized by Temporary Art Platform based on an idea by artist Souheil Sleiman, hosted and generously supported and funded by the municipality of Meziara.

Vikram Divecha (India/UAE), Axel Meunier (France), Andrea Garza Romero (Mexico), Laura Yuile (UK), METASITU (Latvia /Spain), Patricia Barakat (Belgium /Lebanon) were selected by the curator and co-coordinator of the residency.

InVisible, Dubai

AFAC, in collaboration with Temporary Art Platform and 17A Art Consultants commissioned five artists for public installations, sculptures and interventions throughout different public spaces in Dubai.

Vartan Avakian, Doa Aly, Vikram Divecha, Monira Al Qadiri and Shaikha Al Mazrou responded to the notion of ‘’InVisible”, a theme that inspired contemporary national monuments, narrative and formal sculptural gestures concealing the visible and revealing the invisible within the cultural, historical and architectural context of Dubai. They looked at material and immaterial manifestations, dug out hidden foundations and brought to light forgotten narratives.

Informed by specific sites, stories, textures, forms and national representations, the works call to question the place of culture in public space, its tangible and intangible nature and its impact on the collective and the individual.

The works resulting from this commission are to be read and metamorphosed, thus appropriated by the community and the viewers to become the custodians of silent poetic readings and symbolic associations within the context of Dubai beyond its giganticism.