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THE LOST EMPIRE
The Lake
Tartu / Estonia
2011
Colour Print on Baryt Paper
100 x 125 cm
Edition 5

Fouad Elkoury »

THE LOST EMPIRE

ABANDONED SOVIET MILITARY BASES – TOPOGRAPHY OF WAR

Exhibition: 30 Jan – 7 Mar 2015

Thu 29 Jan 18:00 - 21:00

Galerie Tanit

Maximilianstr. 45
80538 München

089-292233


www.galerietanit.com

Tue-Fri 11-18:30 . Sat 11-14

THE LOST EMPIRE
The Mound
Kiskunlachaza / Hungary
Colour Print on Baryt Paper
60 x 90 cm
Edition 5

FOUAD ELKOURY
"The Lost Empire"


Exhibition: 30 January – 7 March 2015
Opening: 29 January, 6-9 pm

ABANDONED SOVIET MILITARY BASES - TOPOGRAPHY OF WAR

"Whenever I’m told there is nothing to photograph, my only desire is to visit these places. Abandoned Soviet military bases appeared to me by accident in 2009 and I immediately decided this was going to become my next project. Between 2010 and 2011, I visited dozens of bases, in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and East Germany. Most were aviation fields, others served for other purposes. All were abandoned, invaded by nature, quiet places offered to me on a tray. In the midst of utter silence, except for the sound of my feet, I was like an animal looking for signs and traces. And all I had to deal with was light, without which, nothing could be seen. In a way, it’s like photographing places which have been turned into other uses." (Fouad Elkoury, November 2011)

Between 2010 and 2011 Fouad Elkoury visited dozens of former military bases in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and eastern Germany. He documented bunkers, landing fields and military buildings, reconquered by nature. War, border patrols, territorial annections etc. seemed like an obsolete memory from history books. Sadly, they prevail again through the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The traces of former conflicts, which he documents in his works, remind us of the transitoriness of human striving for power. They show us the final triumph of nature over territory, buildings or monuments, transformed by man. Compared to the power of nature, political ambitions only leave a wink in the constant flow of history. Elkoury’s œuvre can be perceived by its political perspective, but also by the sensitive, sometimes poetic human moments between hope and despair.

Fouad Elkoury was born in Paris in 1952 and is an internationally renowned Lebanese photographer and filmmaker. The publication of his photographs, documenting the Lebanese civil war in 1984 in the catalogue « Beyrouth Aller – retour » brought his work to international attention and credit. In 1989 he won the Prix medicis Hors les Murs. Among other numerous exhibitions, he exhibited in 1993 in Palais de Tokyo in Paris and in 1996 at Centre de la Photographie in Geneva. Followed by shows at the Maison européenne de la photographie in Sombres 2002 and the 52nd Biennale in Venice in 2007. In 2005 he had a large solo show with photos and films at Lenbachhaus München, part of it was acquired for their permanent collection. In 2012 he showed at the 9. Gwangju Biennale in Korea, in 2014 at the Byzantine Museum in Thessaloniki and at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.

Besides the Munich show the series "Suite Egyptienne" by Fouad Elkoury can be viewed in Galerie Tanit - Beirut until March 6, 2015.

THE LOST EMPIRE
Fouad Elkoury: Krausnick, 2011, Colour print, 72 x 90 cm, Edition 5

FOUAD ELKOURY
"The Lost Empire"


Ausstellung: 30. Januar bis 7. März 2015
Eröffnung: 29. Januar, 18-21 Uhr

"Whenever I’m told there is nothing to photograph, my only desire is to visit these places. Abandoned Soviet military bases appeared to me by accident in 2009 and I immediately decided this was going to become my next project. Between 2010 and 2011, I visited dozens of bases, in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and East Germany. Most were aviation fields, others served for other purposes. All were abandoned, invaded by nature, quiet places offered to me on a tray. In the midst of utter silence, except for the sound of my feet, I was like an animal looking for signs and traces. And all I had to deal with was light, without which, nothing could be seen. In a way, it’s like photographing places which have been turned into other uses." (Fouad Elkoury, November 2011)

Zwischen 2010 und 2011 besuchte Fouad ElKoury Dutzende von ehemaligen Militärbasen in Polen, Ungarn, Estland und Ostdeutschland. Er dokumentierte die von der Natur wieder eroberten Bunker, Landebahnen und Miltärgebäude. Kriege, Gebietsannektionen, Grenzanlagen etc. schienen eine Erinnerung aus Geschichtsbüchern zu sein, deren Daseinsberechtigung sich vermeintlich erübrigt hatte. Leider haben diese Bilder durch den aktuellen Konflikt in der Ukraine wieder traurige Aktualität gewonnen. Die von ihm dokumentierten Spuren vergangener Konflikte mahnen uns zur Vergänglichkeit menschlichen Macht- und Herrschaftsstrebens. Sie zeigen uns den letztendlichen Triumph der Natur über jegliches von Menschenhand veränderte Gelände, errichtete Gebäude oder gestürzte Denkmal. Im Vergleich zur Kraft der Natur hinterlassen die politischen Ambitionen des Menschen nur die Spur eines Augenzwinkerns im Laufe der Geschichte. Das Werk ElKourys wird von seiner politischen Dimension her rezipiert, zeigt aber immer wieder auch sensible, manchmal poetische menschliche Augenblicke zwischen Hoffnung und Hoffnungslosigkeit.

Fouad Elkoury wurde 1952 in Paris geboren und ist ein international renommierter libanesischer Photograph und Filmemacher. Durch die Veröffentlichung seiner Fotos des libanesischen Bürgerkrieges mit dem Katalog « Beyrouth Aller-Retour » gewinnt er erstmals 1984 internationale Aufmerksamkeit und Anerkennung. 1989 ist er Preisträger des Prix medicis Hors les murs. 1993 stellt er im Pariser Palais de Tokyo aus und 1996 am Centre de la Photographie in Genf, um nur einige Ausstellungen zu nennen. Es folgen Ausstellungen am Maison européenne de la photographie in Sombres 2002 und bei der 52ten Biennale in Venedig 2007. 2005 hat er eine Einzelausstellung im Lenbachhaus München. 2012 stellt er bei der 9. Gwangju Biennale in Korea aus, 2014 am byzantinischen Museum Thessaloniki und am Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.

Parallel zur Münchner Ausstellung ist Fouad Elkourys Serie "Suite Egyptienne" in der Galerie Tanit in Beirut bis 6. März 2015 zu sehen.

THE LOST EMPIRE
In the Rain
Tartu / Estonia
2011
Colour Print on Baryt Paper
50 x 75 cm
Edition 5