Photographs from the series Wonder Beirut: The story of a pyromaniac photographer (Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography)
- Art Funded
- Each 105 x 70 cm
- The artists
The Art Fund has given the two museums grants over £150,000 for the collection and additional support for the tour of the collection. Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are Lebanese film-makers and artists who have collaborated since 1997 to make documentary and feature films and installations using photographs and video. Wonder Beirut is the pairs most important photographic project to date. The project was inspired by the tourist postcards of pre-civil war Beirut that Hadjithomas and Joreige noticed were still for sale after the war ended. The series centres on a fictional photographer named Abdallah Farrah who was commissioned by the tourist board to make photographs of Beiruts attractions. When the civil war broke out in 1975, the photographer retreated into his archive, systematically burning his negatives to reflect the damage inflicted on the city by the war. The resulting photographs, including the two proposed here, are presented as prints from these damaged negatives. Like much of their practice, Wonder Beirut explores the borders between fact and fiction, and asks how photography can function in the service of storytelling.