Mohamed Said Baalbaki: Fictional Museum
Viennoise Hotel, Cairo
In his two-part series titled Al Buraq (The Pegasus), Lebanese artist Mohamed Said Baalbaki questions the authority of the museum as an institution and the ways in which histories are written and presented to the public. The series takes the shape of a museum setting, with each gallery focusing on a particular moment in the region`s modern history.
Al Buraq I begins with the story of two German scientists finding bone parts of an unusual animal (a winged horse) in Jerusalem before World War II. This leads to a trip into the history of colonialism in the region. The second part of the series builds on the relationship of the Hashimite Family with British colonial powers.
For his Cairo exhibition, organized as part of the annual Spring Festival, Baalbaki exhibited parts one and two of Al Buraq, as well as a selection of sculptures inspired by modern Lebanese history and people`s relationship to the figure of the martyr.
This video documents the opening night of Baalbaki`s Fictional Museum and includes an interview with the artist about the project he has been working on since 2006. Egyptian oriental jazz band Al Dor Al Awal also performed for exhibition visitors on 12 May.
Mohamad Said Baalbaki (b.1974) is a Lebanese artist based in Berlin. He studied at the Institut des Beaux-Arts in Beirut and at the Berlin University of Fine Arts and the Institute Kunst in Kontext. Since 1998, he has exhibited widely in the Middle East, United States, and Europe.
This video was produced as part of the arts documentation workshop organized by Medrar.TV in collaboration with Vernissage TV. The workshop was made possible with the support of the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia. Subtitles by Toqa Zidan and Mai Elwakil.
[This video is produced by Medrar TV and is featured in partnership with Jadaliyya Culture.]