The 16th Lyon Biennale: manifesto of fragility positions fragility at the heart of a generative form of resistance that is emboldened by the past, responsive to the present and primed for the future. In acknowledging fragility as one of few universally felt truths in our divided world, the Biennale assembles a host of creative practices and objects spanning two millennia that variously speak to the vulnerabilities of people and places, past and present, near and far. Conceived as a collective statement authored through word, image, sound and movement by 200 artists and creatives, it calls on a community of resilient voices to draft a manifesto for a world that is blamelessly fragile. The Biennale is structured around three distinct yet inter-connected layers, where fragility and resistance are explored through the lens of the individual, the city, and the world respectively.
The many lives and deaths of Louise Brunet, on view on the 3rd floor at the macLYON, is a fictionalized retelling of the obscure life of Louise Brunet, a young woman who was sent to prison for her role in the 1834 revolt of the Lyon silk weavers, only to find herself a few years later on a perilous journey from Lyon to the silk factories of Mount Lebanon.
Beirut and the Golden Sixties, on view on the 1st and 2nd floors at the macLYON, highlights collisions between art and political ideologies during a romanticized era of global influence in Beirut – the city where Louise Brunet landed around a century earlier, beginning with the 1958 Lebanon crisis and ending with the 1975 outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War.
A world of endless promise, on view here and at eleven other locations across the city of Lyon representing Lyon’s diverse cultural and architectural history, embodies various faces of fragility through contemporary and historical artworks, new site-specific commissions, and a diversity of objects. It presents a panorama of past and current moments of global perseverance and proposes future forms of being in the world.
The destiny of Lyon has always been marked by the particularities of its people and the traces of their experiences. The 16th Lyon Biennale takes its cue from Lyon’s layered histories as embodied in the Roman foundations of Lugdunum, the echoes of Napoleon’s declaration of love to the Lyonnais, or the flickering images of the Lumière brothers actualités, just to name a few. manifesto of fragility departs from these local accounts while it searches for connections beyond the limits of geography and time. Eternally cyclical, our fragility repeatedly rises to the fore, stares us in the face, regardless of who and where we are, then seemingly disappears, while it lingers on underneath time’s thick skin, dormant yet not gone, silent but never silenced.
About Hashel Al Lamki
B. 1986Emirati painter and multi-disciplinary artist, Hashel Al Lamki’s art unpacks the relationship between humankind and their habitat, the wild and constructed.Born in the shadow of the monumental Jebel Hafeet mountain in Al Ain, Al Lamki bore witness to the complex social and spatial dynamics that followed exponential development in the Gulf. Al Ain’s Bedouin culture and distinct social values, its archaeological sites and rugged terrain formed a stark contrast to the rapid industrial and architectural growth that Al Lamki observed in the neighbouring Emirates.
About Chafa Ghaddar
Chafa Ghaddar was born in Lebanon and currently lives in Dubai. She graduated from ALBA, Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts, where she earned her Bachelor degree in Fine Arts in 2007 and her Master’s degree in Visual Arts in 2009. In 2012, she attended an intensive course in fresco and traditional painting techniques in Florence, Italy.
While developing a career in wall painting and surface finishing, she explores the use of fresco in contemporary practices as well as other processes, and works equally with murals, painting, drawing, photography and mixed media. She executes site-specific and public art works and has participated in several collective exhibitions between Beirut, Dubai, New York, Brussels and Verona, Italy. She was awarded the Boghossian Art Prize for painting in 2014, and was artist in residence at the Villa Empain in Brussels in October and November 2015.