Ahmad Ghossein is an artist and filmmaker. He holds an MFA in Visual Art from the National Academy of Art-(KHIO) in Oslo and a BFA in Theater from the Lebanese University, Beirut.
His practice utilizes a number of media, including video art, installation, art in public spaces and photographs and film. The starting point of his work is the collectioning and analysis of facts, documents, and found footage, which then feed into a body of work that draws on the potential of the moving image. He is interested in the connection between individual human experiences and shared historical and political realities. His work is driven by personal and emotional experience, but is essentially concerned with the larger political dynamics of his time.
His works include:
The Fourth Stage – Lebanon/2015/Video/ Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation، Relocating the Past, Ruins for the Future – Norway/2013/a public space project, You have to Swim, You have no Choice – Lebanon and Norway/2012/Video/ Commissioned and nominated for the DnB Nor Sparebank Foundation Exhibition 2012, Oslo Art Association. Yesterday’s News– Solo exhibition-Kunstforening/2012/Oslo. This is not the news of today – Norway/2012/Video .My Father is Still a Communist Lebanon/2011/Video/Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. What Does Not Resemble Me Looks Exactly Like Me – Lebanon/2009/Video/With Ghassan Salhab and Mohamad Soueid. Faces Applauding Alone – Lebanon/2008/Video/ 210m – Lebanon/2007/Video/10”/Commissioned by Ashkal Alwan
Ghossein’s latest short film, White Noise, which was produced under the auspices of “Lebanon Factory,” will open the Director’s Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs – Cannes) 2017. He was awarded the Production Programme Award by the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2014, the Ibsen scholarship award in 2013, and Best Short Film in the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in 2011..He is also the co-curator of CO2 an artistic platform in Beirut.
Ghossein’s work has been exhibited in different museums and galleries and has been screened in various film festivals around the world the including Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and New Museum in New York, Sharjah Art Foundation, Center Pompidou in Paris, Oslo Kunstforening, Kunsthall in Oslo, With Koro (Uro) in Oslo, Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works in Beirut, SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea, MuCEM museum in Marseille, Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen, the Bétonsalon in Paris, the Haus am Waldsee art space in Berlin, Beirut Film Festival, Berlinale Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Tribeca Doha Film Festival, Oberhausen Film Festival, Ayam Beirut Al Cinema’iya, and the Fid Marseille Film Festival.
He is currently preparing for his first feature film, All This Victory with Abbout Productions, Beirut.
Amanda Khalil took part in a research exchange project instigated by the Goethe institutes in Rio de Janeiro and Beirut in 2017. She was Patrick Pessoa’s guest in Rio, (a playwright and theater critic, professor of philosophy at the UFF, Universidade Federal Fluminense) before becoming his host in Beirut the same year. This first cultural exchange led to a larger research towards the production of an exhibition preceded by artists residences exchanges in Lebanon and Brazil.
It is at the Delfina Foundation (London) in March 2018, that the curator developed her proposal in which the residency format is inherent to the exhibition’s methodology. The residency was considered for it being a ‘’hosting’’ situation and trigger of artistic and curatorial knowledge production. Through Delfina Foundation the curator met with Frances Reynolds who showed interest in supporting the project through her platform and residency in Rio de Janeiro and invited Abi Khalil together with Lebanese artist Ahmad Ghossein for a month residency at Inclusartiz Institute in June 2018.
This residency will be an iteration of the exhibition’s methodology and will be dedicated to research for a future commission by the artist. Punctuated by a series of public programs and exchanges with host institutions and communities, this one-month immersion in Rio will feed into to the research for both the exhibition and commission.
The project and exhibition are inspired by the historical, social and cultural narratives associated to the Lebanese (and Arab) Diaspora in Brazil and the reciprocal relations these two countries have been sustaining since the late 19th century. It is widely known that there are at least three times more Lebanese from Lebanese descent in Brazil than in Lebanon and that Brazil hosts the largest Arab diaspora (mainly from the Levant: Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) in the world. Since Brazil’s independence in 1822, those who entered were no longer colonizers but migrants.
Brazil could be viewed as this utopian territory where Arab sectarianism dissolved, a host land with open arms reputed for it is historical xenophilic identity and policy. The ‘’humanitarian visas’’ practiced in Brazil granted a new home for the poor and vulnerable for centuries. Prior to the economic crisis of 2015, Brazilian politicians claimed that the country could resolve the global refugee crisis. Shaped around the theme of hospitality, looked at from the angle of historical migration, contemporary xenophobic climate (refugee crisis), and the notion of displacement inherent to the global art world (the exhibition and its methodology), the exhibition will be co-produced and shown in Brazil and Lebanon in 2019-2020.