The Haunting Simplicity of the Bus
Exhibition by Houssam Bokeili
@ The Hangar [UMAM D&R]
April 8 – May 1, 2011

Houssam Bokeili’s draw to the figure of the bus stems from his memories as a schoolchild in Beirut, before the 13 April 1975 commencement of Lebanon’s civil war. This exhibition does not just send viewers back to the past; it invites them to make critical leaps between the memory repositories and artifacts assembled.

Using a mechanical reproduction technique inspired by Pop Art, Houssam Bokeili’s work navigates his personal memories in relation to collective commemorations of social and political history. The replicas of the Ain el-Remmaneh bus, iconic in Lebanon’s historical imaginary, interrogate the relation between art and history forming, to use Pierre Nora’s phrase, a lieu de mémoireIn
A BUS AND ITS REPLICAS... Bokeili seeks to replicate the essence of the bus as it figures in his imaginary: a complex combination of joy and dismay. Ultimately, its path unfolds onto a new space, where memory and imagination intersect.

Houssam Bokeili was born in Beirut in 1966. He graduated with a degree in photography from L’École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland and later earned a degree in execution drawings at L’École Boule in Paris. Bokeili continued to improve his techniques in sculpting and stonemasonry at La Châtre in France and ultimately received a diploma in stereotomy. Bokeili has participated in many exhibitions throughout France and the Arab countries. In addition, he has been engaged with several projects by established artists, including Takashi Murakami’s 2002 exhibition at the Foundation Cartier in Paris.

Selected Press Links

A Bus as Symbol of Death and Loss | By Kersten Knipp | Qantara
Looking for the lost bus | By Isabelle Mayault | Mashallah News
An art of murder, and education | By Matthew Mosley | The Daily Star

A BUS AND ITS REPLICAS... - Photos of the Exhibition
A BUS AND ITS REPLICAS... - Photos of the Opening