1. Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, I stared at beauty so much: Waiting for the barbarians, 2013
    LCD screen
    4 min 26 sec, video loop

    Commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Centre for the Visual Dialogues 2013

    In today’s troubled times of war, recessions and loss of ideals, beliefs and ideologies seem to wane, leaving us alone in a world without consolation. Suddenly Cavafy’s voice through his poem “Waiting for the Barbarians” becomes more relevant than ever.
    Both the artists and Cavafy share the middle east as a place of residence, in a period where, as he writes, eternity has never been so precarious. His poems echo very strongly, resonating in their endlessly disintegrating society, in a place where the unexpected always happen and where they have nothing but desir to counter violence and power.
    "In our region, these days, the impression of a breach opening underneath our feet and the fear of being swallowed by the impossible present and the uncertain futur".
    Starting with the poem “Waiting for the Barbarians“, the artists explore panoramic images of Beirut shifting from mobile to immobile, from the general to the constantly excavated detail that opens onto the world.
    The works dwell on the time-lag of photographic processes. The photographs shown are made up of more than 50 photos taken at different times. They are full of spatial – and mainly temporal – inconsistencies. Different instants mingle, thus creating impossible images evoking otherworldly visions. The video work is made by filming some of this same four still photographs. The camera passes over the photos and stops at certain points that become animated through subtle video overlays. The resultant effect is an animated photograph that creates a tension between stillness and motion, displacing the viewer’s gaze and the expected representation – giving the illusion of suspended time but also movement that cannot be stopped.
    The photography becomes strangely, surprisingly animated while we watch it. Arrested time, suspended time but also movement that cannot be stopped, which appears ever present. As if time, space and movement were constantly fighting.
    Temporalities become over imposed, nature is reversed and many suns appear on multiplied horizons.

    ”Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
    (How serious people’s faces have become.)
    Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
    everyone going home so lost in thought?
    Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
    And some who have just returned from the border say
    there are no barbarians any longer.
    And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
    They were, those people, a kind of solution.”

    Uploaded 107 Plays 0 Comments

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

The Third Line PRO

Born in Beirut, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige have worked together as both artists and filmmakers, shooting fictions films and documentaries. 
For the last 15 years, they have focused on the images, memory and history of their country, Lebanon,…


+ More

Born in Beirut, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige have worked together as both artists and filmmakers, shooting fictions films and documentaries. 
For the last 15 years, they have focused on the images, memory and history of their country, Lebanon, its wars, its conflicts, its political battles. As photographers, video and film-makers, they have presented their works in exhibitions, collections of images and films. They re-appropriate political documentation, archives, landscapes, symbolic sites to create critical images by adapting them, by making their deterioration felt and by stressing the effects of time and memory as both very personal and collective.

Browse This Channel

Shout Box

Heads up: the shoutbox will be retiring soon. It’s tired of working, and can’t wait to relax. You can still send a message to the channel owner, though!

Channels are a simple, beautiful way to showcase and watch videos. Browse more Channels.