ORDINARY LIVES - AN EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHS BY RANIA MATAR6. Nov - 26. Nov 09 / ended The Mosaic Rooms
(except 18, 20 and 21 November) - Monday - Saturday 11am to 6pm, Tuesdays 11am to 4pm
AN EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHS BY RANIA MATAR
Lebanon is a country built upon dichotomies. It is a blend of cultures, poised at the intersection between the Western and the Arab worlds. Born in Beirut and living in the West, photographer Rania Matar is especially attuned to those dichotomies. Here she honors the lives of women and children in Lebanon in evocative black-and-white photographs. They convey the many facets of life, acknowledging the undeniable presence of war and tragedy, yet celebrating the strength, dignity, and humanity of lives lived amidst the rubble, in refugee camps, or behind the veil. The images are universal, powerful reminders of the tender bond between a mother and child, the cheerful camaraderie of friends, and the resilience of the human spirit.
“In these photos I concentrate on people who did not lose their humanity and dignity despite what they have been and continue to go through. I try to portray them as the beautiful individuals they are and concentrate on the spirit with which they perform the mundane tasks of daily life no matter what their circumstances.” Rania Matar
“No one will forget the women and children in [these images], the ordinary lives in times that are cursed by being anything but ordinary.” Anthony Shadid.
Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the US in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at AUB and at Cornell University, she studied photography at the New England School of Photography and at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Mexico. Matar was a finalist for the James and Audrey Foster award at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, where her work was exhibited from November 2008-March 2009.
Her work was recently exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Ablilene Texas, the Council on Foreign Relations in NY, the Koppelman Gallery at Tufts University, the Chicago Cultural Center and Gallery Kayafas in Boston. Matar’s images are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Portland Art Museum Oregon, the Southeast Museum of Photography, the De Cordova Museum, the Danforth Museum of Art, the Kresge Art Museum, the Anthony and Beth Terrana Collection, the John Cleary Estate Collection in addition to numerous private collections.
A book based on the photographs in the exhibition, including excerpts from the celebrated Palestinian American poet Lisa Majaj and an introduction by Pulitzer-Prize winner Anthony Shadid will be available for sale, as will all the photographs.
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