art of resistance, Lebanon, Syria, travel, Turkey

Beyond Borders – from Vienna to Beirut.

Frederic Lezmi: Beyond Borders (from Vienna to Beirut)

Artist statement:

I have been searching for the “in between” – whatever lies geographically as well as culturally between my world here in the midst of Europe and my long term focus of interest in the Middle and Near East. Being half Lebanese myself, I have been studying cultural interfaces within the distant Arabic World.

From August to December 2008 I traveled between Vienna and Beirut. I encountered people in versatile worlds, inside or in front of architectural places, both real and artificial, public and private. In my photographs, people emerge either as just passers-by or while waiting, as subjects and objects of the viewer’s eye, moving about in their urban or rural environment. These are distanced views in which locals and tourists are on similar paths, randomly congregating and forming elusive compositions. These pictures represent neither precise documents nor do they create artistic worlds. They are constructions of multicolored, fragmented impressions, like looking through a kaleidoscope.

I often show architectural monuments, including the social life taking place within, in various superimposed layers and conditions. Through reflections and fragmentation within the images, the viewer’s eye is being multiplied, inverted and divided in order to call into question the perception of cultural differences and their importance for the “present” and the “past” of our society.

My pictures reveal an ambivalent point of view beyond current clichés of architectural monuments and existing borderlines. In my photographs, the Orient and the Occident overlay each other, and are further changed by ever-growing globalism. Photography in this case serves as a visual hinge and an interface between these multi-faceted worlds where the space between East and West is either expanded or reduced.

0889f5f39505d2261dbae8fb802d2022-largeZagreb, Croatia

2cfe9cc6d81c608ec1a60a2ca2e98e9e-largeSarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

aqwBucharest, Romania

041a9b3ef2e7c7ec71842d580011bbe8-largeVarna, Bulgaria

4a4af4e25d4137829d4fd868bed784d4-largeIstanbul, Turkey

awxxTasci, Turkey

360ec2d084f58fce0e05bc0e7942d4be-largeIznik Golu, Turkey

a98d35562bf9b142ccdebaa7bdd178ed-largeAleppo, Syria

asdxKfar Khilfah, Syria

4ef885d8b1f5680c776e6559b3992804-largeBeirut, Lebanon

/all photos © Frederic Lezmi/

For more on Lezmi and his projects, visit his official website.

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