Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beirut/SECAM opening at 392RMEIL393

Photo credit: Patrick A.S.
Photo credit: Farah S.

Yesterday, we opened the Beirut/SECAM exhibition at the 392RMEIL393 - and if I am to summarize it with one word, it would not be "exciting, bubbly, beautiful, crowded, or successful" (even if all these terms apply) - but rather the most-fitting would be "humbling". The event was everything an artist could wish for. The pitch perfect sequence (thank you Alfred, Nayla and Georges) was the stuff anyone could dream of and the massive PR machine deployed brought such a incredibly diverse crowd as casually dressed youth rubbed shoulders with society people clad to the ninth.
But whereas usually openings are more meet-and-greet events or wine-and-snack affairs, it was very pleasing to see the art itself taking center-stage with people being interested in the tales behind the works, and even better, the attendees disposed of my own explanations and barged into arguments (the word is not misplaced) with their friends as to the significance of certain pieces.
It was also so exciting for me to see how many people really defended their opinions engaging in heated discussions with me about possible interpretations of a specific piece. I heard the term "this one is my favorite" half a dozen times and yet, each time it was being applied to a different work (with just 8 large pieces on show, it goes to show how multi-faceted the works are).
On a personal level, yesterday was one of those days where everything is put in perspective. Whereas I try to keep Beirut/NTSC focused on the professional angle of things not to speak of that would make me look ungrateful: everything that happened from early morning to midnight touched me very very deeply. The amount of moral support that came from family and friends left me gasping for air, and those who could not come (either because they are outside of Lebanon or for other reasons) were just as present as those who graced us by showing up (through today's mobile and internet technologies). To delve into the details and the names is both embarrassing (for such low-key and generous individuals) and superfluous (but ALL of you know who you are), however to sum up I shall go back to Lou Reed's song "Oh, it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you" (Yes, even those who were only there in spirit).
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