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Zikr - Lola Sementsova and Shawki Youssef


Du 14/10/2021 à 17:00 jusqu'au 30/10/2021 à 17:00

Beirut Contemporary presents Zikr, an Off Show featuring the work of Lola Sementsova and Shawki Youssef that explores themes of memory, cultural heritage and it’s destruction.


Lola Sementsova is a mixed media artist from Moscow, Russia currently completing a Masters program at VICARTE (Art and Science in Glass and Ceramics) in Lisbon, Portugal. She was raised in a multicultural family where controversial traditions, languages and religions collided. Sementsova embraces a disintegrative experience of trauma through her work which explores and integrates her mixed heritage, discovering bridges between Islam and Christianity, between East and West. Her interests include clinical psychology and art therapy. She uses a variety of techniques as an artistic medium such as ceramics, glass and tapestry.


Her work will be complemented with the calligraphy art of Shawki Youssef. For Shawki, Sementosova’s work symbolizes “the transgression that religion was subjected to. Lola Sementsova is not participating in it, she expressed it.”


Zikr, which translates to remembrance in Arabic, also carries the meaning of utterance and repetition in Islamic prayers or Sufi movements. Shawki points out that religiously, Zikr is a central idea and carries the meaning of wisdom; however on a Lebanese societal level, the idea of memory has been neglected as part of a collective national effort to forget the past and the Civil War. “We don’t want to remember, we want the opposite, we want to forget. Memory is a kind of enemy. We tend to be in denial” however “memory is inevitable” and the question arises, how and in what ways do we choose to remember?


Sementsova also appreciates the importance of memory and cultural heritage. She points out that there are two types of memory: the individual and the collective. Both types of memory shape us as individuals. “The collective memory, which every nation has, is present in our subconsciousness. Even if we don’t know it because we were never told or taught it by older generations, it is what creates our grounds as human beings.” In her displayed piece she is inspired and expresses both her individual and her collective memory. “Art can unite the memory and the present. I create art in the present with tools and insights regarding that memory. Art can be a tool that connects my memory to the present self.''

BC will extend its opening days for Zikr. The exhibit will be open from Tuesdays till Saturdays from 3pm-7pm.



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