The Last Days of the Carlton [I]
Exhibition by Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza
@ The Hangar 
October 11 – December 19, 2011

The Beirut Carton Hotel is not a non-place, as Marc Augé might have referred to it. It is a space with a historical identity, bearing signification in relation to the urban fabric of Beirut, as the artist reveals through an interpretation of the traces left by the hotel’s archive. 

Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza is interested in the illegibility of the visible and the invisible go the legible contained in the text and images that she selected. Personifying the documents, she visually transforms the hotel’s archive into a testimony of lived experience. The work seeks to provoke remembrance, to extract a fragment of feeling that even the most basic of words can contain. Yet the material the artist chooses to work with is precarious, fragile, not conducive to conversation in time. She plays on the relation between appearance and disappearance, endowing the often minor and fleeting traces of memory with magic, poetry, and infinite possibility. 

NO VACANCY was part of the larger exhibition The Beirut Experience, running at the Beirut Art Center. Curated and produced by attitudes, Geneva, The Beirut Experience brought together ten international artists selected for their interest in notions that are essential to the dual contexts of Beirut and Lebanon. These included architecture, urban planning, memory, history or cultural identity, as well as their capacity to adapt to the complex but stimulating Lebanese situation.

Media coverage of NO VACANCY can be found here or in the section UMAM IN THE MEDIA.

NO VACANCY - Photos of the Exhibition

NO VACANCY - Photos of the Opening