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Figures Upon Landscape

Saving Face: Jalal Toufic

010_03 / 13 July 2016


Jalal Toufic

Saving Face, 2003

7 mins 19 secs


'Were all the candidates' faces posted on the walls of Lebanon during the parliamentary campaign of 2000 waiting for the results of the elections? No. As faces they were waiting to be saved. Far better than any surgical face-lift or digital retouching, it was the physical removal of part of the poster of the face of one candidate so that the face of another candidate would partially appear under it; as well as the accretions of posters and photographs over each other that produced the most effective face-lift, and that proved a successful face-saver for all concerned. We have in these resultant recombinant posters one of the sites where Lebanese culture in specific, and Arabic culture in general, mired in an organic view of the body, in an organic body, exposes itself to inorganic bodies.'


This selection of films, curated Jim Quilty, is presented on Ibraaz in collaboration with the Beirut Art Center.

About the author

Jalal Toufic

Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. His books are available for download at his website: http://www.jalaltoufic.com. He was a participant in the Sharjah Biennials 6, 10 and 11, Documenta 13, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, the First Asia Biennial and 5th Guangzhou Triennial, the 3rd Athens Biennale, and A History: Art, Architecture, and Design, from the 1980s Until Today at Centre Pompidou. In 2011, he was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD; and in 2013–2014, he and Anton Vidokle led Ashkal Alwan's third edition of Home Workspace Program. He has been the Director of the School of Visual Arts at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) since September 2015.