Alia Farid
Ma’arad Trablous, 2016

  • Video
  • Duration: 14:24 min
  • Acquired in 2018

Produced as commissioned work for the São Paulo Art Biennial, Ma’arad Trablous investigates divergent developments of two similarly planned projects by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer: the Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo from 1954, which he designed in part, and the Rashid Karami International Fair in Lebanon’s Tripoli. The trade fair grounds, which consisted of 15 individual concrete forms, were designed to host the World’s Fair before construction stopped at the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War (1975). The camera follows the monumental shapes of concrete and portraits a female figure in a long black dress, whose choreographed movements, following the given architectural forms, alternate with images of visitors and workers. With a dome structure for an experimental theater, the parabolic arch of a multi-purpose hall and a light-flooded museum with traditional pointed arched windows, the monumental trade fair grounds in Tripoli resemble an abandoned space station. Ma’arad Trablous deals with adaptation, translation and use of architectural concepts. The artist works with auditory alienation effects and performative elements, a kind of bodily translation of the historical testimonies of past architectural utopias into new contexts.

Alia Farid

* 1985 Kuwait, KWT
Lives and works in Kuwait and Puerto Rico, KWT and PRI

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