"(...) In Baalbek, the curator Katrina Helou brought ‘The Silent Echo’, featuring nine contemporary artworks, to the humble archaeological site museum that sits inside the city’s vast Roman ruins, and to the 2000-year-old Temple of Bacchus, where Cynthia Zaven’s sound installation Perpetuum Mobile (2014) made time palpable, beautiful, and harrowing."
Extract from KWG's 2016 Highlights in the online edition of Frieze
Shouldering the Weight of History at Baalbek
"Embraced by the encircling walls of the Bacchus Temple, Cynthia Zaven’s sound installation Perpetuum Mobile creates a cycling echo effect as it loops on 12 speakers, arranged in a rough circle in the middle of the stone courtyard. One of the highlights of The Silent Echo, the first contemporary art exhibition to be held at the archaeological site of Baalbek, Zaven’s installation immerses listeners in a fluid, musical soundscape, where notes chase each other in circles, creating echoes and flurries, marking the passing of time in a space that has remained untouched for 2000 years (...)"
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Al-wadi (The Valley). 2014. Directed by Ghassan Salhab
Sunday, September 27, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
Al-wadi (The Valley). 2014. Lebanon/France/Germany/UAE/Qatar. Directed by Ghassan Salhab. 134 min.
After a series of roadside accidents, an amnesiac man is reluctantly taken in by a secretive group living in the Bekaa Valley, on Lebanon’s border with Syria. The group members, who are revealed to be producing drugs in the compound, are suspicious of this man without a past—though they themselves have left a life behind to be there. The rising tension is heightened by the camera, which frames figures against interiors until the house seems to close in on them, and the painterly vistas of the valley beyond their windows appear a world away. Radio news coverage of crises across the region (which punctuates the eerie score by Sharif Sehnaoui and Cynthia Zaven) only confirms what the inhabitants already know: danger is all around. In Lebanese auteur Ghassan Salhab’s poetic meditation on his war-ravaged homeland, the national zeitgeist is reflected in the protagonist’s amnesic blankness. This hauntingly beautiful film is ultimately a ghost story about a nation’s painful history and uncertain future.
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