About The Work
With installations, videos and large canvases, Zena el Khalil uses her family history to create a more personal understanding of Lebanon. Her recent paintings are the work of several years, during which el Khalil traveled around the country consecrating sites injured by violence and trauma with her healing ceremonies, burning objects to make ink, and painting her abstract expressions of pain and love. Her canvases become a sacred utterance, a prayer to all those suffering from the brutality of war, in the hope that art can transmute conflict into peace.
Zena el Khalil
Zena el Khalil (Beirut, 1976). Lives and works in Beirut.
Versatile artist based in Beirut, during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, she was one of the first largely followed Middle Eastern bloggers. Her book, Beirut, I Love You, is translated into several languages. In 2012 she was made a TED Fellow. In 2017 her solo show "Sacred Catastrophe: Healing Lebanon" opened at the Beit Beirut Center, Lebanon. With installations, videos and large canvases, Zena el Khalil uses her family history to create a more personal understanding of her country, Lebanon. Latent memories led Zena el Khalil to create artistic projects around her personal history, her land and her ancestry.
Founded in 1975 by Giorgio Persano, who collaborated with and supported artists from arte povera to minimal and conceptual art. Today, the gallery shows works by these established artists alongside a selection works by young artists from the international scene. These young artists are connected by an interest in exploring their own cultural roots. In this way, the gallery intends to document and give visibility to a variety of experiences that are tied to the personal history and culture of the artist specifically, as well as experiences that are deeply rooted in the wider cultural context.