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Khaled Sabsabi

(Lebanon, Australia 1965 – )

Guerrilla

Location
Not on display
Further information

Khaled Sabsabi's practice is informed by his experience of living in exile. In the late 1970s he migrated to Australia from Lebanon to escape civil war. Since 2003, repeated visits have inspired a body of work exploring the entwinement of spiritual belief, politics and conflict in the region.

The 33 images that comprise 'Guerrilla' are from an archive of snapshots taken by Sabsabi in 2006 documenting the immediate aftermath of the Israel–Hezbollah War, which raged for 33 days and decimated large areas of Beirut. Each of the photographs has been meticulously over-painted in an act of effacement that mirrors their subject. Sabsabi speaks of this gesture as one of refusal. The long, meditative process of undoing the photographs' indexical status is an attempt - however futile - to usurp the reality they represent, borne of violence and intolerance.

The yellow ribbon that traced a new division of territory appears in each of the images amidst the rubble, a marker of the flimsy contract of peace. One fragment that shows the words 'no trespassing' also provocatively announces the outcome as a 'divine victory'.

Year
2007-2016
Media
Photograph, Watercolour, Drawing
Medium
acrylic, watercolour and gouache on dye diffusion thermal transfer prints
Dimensions
10.1 x 15.1 cm each image
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2017
Accession number
5.2017.a-gg
Copyright
© Khaled Sabsabi