A contemporary artist hailing from Lebanon, Chafa Ghaddar excavates historic art practices, including the fresco technique, and inserts them into the the contemporary moment. Through a reordering of time and fixed association Ghaddar’s multidisciplinary output collapses once certain ideas about materiality, process, the human body and its habitat.
For her first solo exhibition at Tabari Artspace, entitled Beneath Latent Skies, Ghaddar has been tirelessly experimenting in her studio, re-approaching her materials - among them mural stucco, airy lace, luminous glaze and Indian paper - in order to unleash new potential. In addition to monumental fresco works and site-specific installations, Ghaddar has produced works on paper in varying scale.
The gallery exhibition is the first in a series by Ghaddar that unpacks the notion of the body as a landscape and host of multiple agendas - a site of eroticism, violence, movement, temporality, love, despair and repair.
In this recent interview with Tabari Artspace Ghaddar unpacks her process, conceptual concerns and her enduring bond with the tradition of fresco that sprung from the sweltering walls of her childhood home:
"I've lived my entire childhood in a house that was excessively humid. Lebanon has four seasons, but it has excessive humidity. A lot of my interest in fresco comes from the humidity, of the wet. You know what happens to a surface when it doesn't heal? When it's humid you always need to heal it or to edit it and to plaster it again. But then you have this contamination of bacteria or humidity, it can be very invasive. In the city of Beirut, it's the same, the walls keep the memories of the weather and the humidity and the wars and the conflicts and the people, it's very complex as a surface”.
The Voice | Chafa Ghaddar