A conversation in English between artist Akram Zaatari and Suzanne Cotter, Director of Mudam
Akram Zaatari's research-based practice relies to a large extent on the collection of documents from private sources and publishing them in his work. Contrary to many of his peers in the Lebanese art scene, he operates like archeologists do on excavation sites.
Zaatari rarely looks for documents in existing structures, such as archives or historical collections: he believes in subjective and personal inquiries, and aims to constitute or assemble his own collections of objects and other documents that are representative of his desires, concerns, and interests – mainly in writing parallel histories. His works address issues ranging from political resistance, war, the circulation of images across borders, and the biographies of objects and other documents: lost, found, or simply moved from hand to hand. In 1997 he took part in the creation of the Arab Image Foundation, to contain research practices by artists and scholars. In 2013, Zaatari represented Lebanon at the Venice Biennale with his film Letter to a Refusing Pilot.