Once Upon a Time... A Revolution, Selim Mawad
I gave them the wall. They can break their heels and their heads against it.
You mock them.
- I give them space for collective therapy.
The bull and the antelope in dialogue
Day 21 of Revolution
Half-man, half-bull, Mawad’s Minotaur is implicated in the social dynamic which leads to universal revolt, as a representation of the collective self. Mawad’s art is a symptom of his activism, a mere manifestation of his unwavering bid for the universal values he has upheld for over two decades.
His Bull rises in Africa and resigns in Beirut. The exhibition treads the metamorphosis of the bull, and in effect becomes a eulogy for many failed revolutions, yet a celebration of the process and the will to revolt. As Lebanon’s revolution comes to its demise, the bull recedes, the human surfaces, slaughtering the calf as a revolution must slaughter the very social norms it is seated in - a crime seen in the bird’s eye view! And the antelope emerges.
Whilst the Thawr– الثور is sacred for some, and Revolt – Intifada is revolution for many, the Thawrat–الثورة is the primordial self of one and of all.
Born in Lebanon in 1973, Selim Mawad has lived and worked in many conflict-torn countries across the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. After earning a master's degree in architecture from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA), he set out on a long journey in the field of human rights and peace building, and reflects this experience through his art. He offers the viewer a collection of non-narrative stories through paintings, sketches, comic books and articles. Many of these stories were drawn while on the field, and later transformed into more elaborate paintings. Through his practice, Mawad throws a critical gaze on activism and explores the underlying reasons of violence, the resilience of the human being and the will to enjoy life.
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