Encounters – ongoing, Hiba Kalache
Saleh Barakat Gallery invites you to the all-day opening of Hiba Kalache’s Encounters – ongoing
on Thursday, July 2 in The Upper Gallery. To minimize crowding, we encourage visitors to drop
in at any time between 11am and 6pm throughout the day (masks are required).
The exhibition will stay on until the end of August.
The series of drawings, Encounters – ongoing, which first appeared in the Journal Art Margins
(Vol. 8, no.3), stems from chance meetings on leisurely road trips around the mountains of
Lebanon. The drawings act as markers of Kalache’s conversations with landowners, farmers,
and people directly working in the fields. Each conversation is represented by a simple tree
branch, or a fragment of a (flowering) plant, belonging to the site and moment the encounter
took place. This fragment indexes an encounter in which the farmer’s story, experience, or
relationship to the land and its borders was shared. Excerpts from these exchanges are also
hand-written on the picture plane. In the directness of the creative process, and the abstraction
of the conversations, this project alludes to, and yet blurs, the sectarian divisions upon which
the ownership of land is based, as well as a present geopolitical context. The drawings share the
marking of unplanned encounters through the representations of fragmented personal
accounts along specific terrains and borders.
Born in Beirut, Hiba Kalache is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans installation,
drawing, painting, and sculpture. Kalache received in 2005 an MFA from California College of
the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. She has since exhibited in Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, New
Orleans, Oakland, San Jose (USA), San Francisco, and Tehran. Recent group exhibitions include
Mimesis Expression Construction (2016) curated by Octavian Esanu at the American University
of Beirut’s Rose and Shaheen Saleeby Museum, Heartland (2015) curated by Joanna Chevalier
at the Beirut Exhibition Center, and Under Construction, Exposure (2014) curated by Marie
Muracciole at the Beirut Art Center. Her last solo exhibition, Lemonade Everything Was So
Infinite, was held at Saleh Barakat Gallery in 2018. She has had other solo exhibitions in Beirut
with The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space, and the FFA Private Bank. In 2017, she taught
fine arts at the Lebanese American University.
The Upper Gallery hosts an ongoing series of rotating displays and small-scale exhibitions. The
program of the Upper Gallery is intended to spotlight projects which are experimental or smaller
in scale, as well as overlooked practices of modern and contemporary art.