OTTN Projects, Beirut Art Residency, and Matèria are pleased to present “Barometer” an experimental art residency program developing across two cities (countries and cultures): Beirut and Rome.
The residency has been structured to cater for a three weeks timeframe within which the three artists selected from Lebanon will work in Rome, within the headquarter of the newly established Salad Art District, OMBRELLONI Art Space, in the San Lorenzo neighborhood.
The three invited Lebanese artists are Mohamad Abdouni, Karine Wehbe, and Sara Soup.
The project is built to feature and rely on the link between the artists invited and the Italian artists working within Ombrelloni Art Space, founded by Alessandro Calizza, who will be tasked with the role of hosts and chaperones, sharing their studio for the duration of the residency with one of the visiting artists.
The organizing committee will work towards developing the link between the artists selected by taking into consideration the period preceding the residency, the studio/production period and the time frame following the departure of the visiting artists. Institutions such as Istituto Superiore di Fotografia (Rome) and Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Libano are also involved in the operation.
The focus of this residency program is experiencing the roots and branches of interrelationships. Everything that looks effortless around us is, indeed, a complex mechanism of effortful actions, chained together in the experience of wholeness: an ecosystem is a miracle if one looks closer to the delicate balances it encloses. Each action develops into a dramatic change in the course of things, both in our lives and the life of others. This is at the foundations of what interrelation means to us. Everything in our surroundings is extremely complex yet extremely natural because we have accepted complexity as the natural state of things, often losing sight of individual actions as we grew up unlearning to question them.
The purpose of this project is to expose the meaningfulness of human codependency and global interrelation by highlighting the importance of both layers of life: the complexity and effortless nature of the Whole (as a global) and the thousands of small actions and personal choices that exist within that wholeness on a more individual and human-scale state.
We want to reflect on how the encounter of our personal experiences, stories, and backgrounds can form an ecosystem within our present which is able to influence both our present and our future. Initially, the project started on a pragmatic and emotive note: the desire of doing something to help. It developed by digging into why we had that desire that seemed so natural and what that uncontrolled instinct actually hides: it could be the mystery that new possible relationships hold or the desire of a dialogue among cultures or the possibility of individual growth that comes from new quests.
We do not have answers at the moment yet we feel that starting off with questions is more critical.
Beirut Art Residency
Since 2015, the Beirut Art Residency (BAR) is dedicated to supporting the production and dissemination of contemporary art through residencies, local exhibitions and public interventions. BAR has added profound vibrancy, sustainability and spotlight to the local art scene, creating bridges between the artists in Beirut and the global art community.
Based in the neighbourhood of San Lorenzo in Rome, Matèria opened its doors to the public in 2015. The gallery proposes an exhibition programme that touches upon all aspects of Contemporary Art, with a particular focus on the role and use of the photographic medium. Since its founding, Matèria’s purpose has been the furthering and development of the work of its selected group of Artists.
The gallery programme features four exhibitions per calendar year, conceived and produced directly with its artists and often in dialogue with the space through a site specific approach. Matèria’s gallery shows strive to further the research and experimentation aspects of artistic practice, with the results of this approach often showcased in a growing list of Italian and international art fairs.