AD Leb launched its inaugural exhibition Everyone is the creator of one’s own faith in memory of Gaïa Fodoulian

Titled Everyone is the creator of one's own faith, Art Design Lebanon’s first art exhibition opened in the historic Tabbal Building in Beirut on Thursday April 8. The exhibition title is a reference to the caption Gaïa Fodoulian wrote in her last Facebook post: a photo of her published on 4 August 2020 – a date that is now seared into our memories – running towards the camera, a mountain of green behind her. The picture was originally taken at the Dambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka, in February 2020. It is impossible to tell what Fodoulian had in mind when she created this post as she was killed just a few hours later. But the question of faith – what it means to have it, and more importantly, how difficult it is to live without it – is relevant today more than ever.

This exhibition brings together both newly commissioned and existing works by local artists and designers who were asked to present works which respond to the themes evoked by the exhibition title. The participating artists and designers are Samer Bou Rjeily, Karen Chekerdjian, Hatem Imam, Sirine Fattouh, Gaïa Fodoulian, Paul Kaloustian, Nathalie Khayat, Hussein Nassereddine and Caroline Tabet. The exhibition’s scenography is designed by Ghaith&Jad.

Their responses to the title are expressed through a range of mediums including illustration, photography, neon artwork and furniture. The exhibition questions what it means to produce and exhibit art amid the daily precariousness we face in Lebanon.

That this exhibition is taking place in one of Beirut’s endangered heritage buildings which dates back to the 1890s is no coincidence. In its own humble way, the show attempts to shed light on the city’s hidden scars and beauties, concretized in this building’s architectural makeup. Often forgotten, heritage buildings are important markers of the history of Beirut and its citizens; by safeguarding them, we are preserving the memory of the city and the people who inhabit it.

Everyone is the creator of one's own faith will also be complemented by a digital exhibition for global audiences to engage with the immense diversity of creativity from the region. Art Design Lebanon (AD Leb) will allow visitors access to this talented group of creatives as well as providing a way to support the Beirut community in the wake of the explosion. A programme of further physical pop-up exhibitions, talks and events will take place following the initial exhibition, with more details to follow.

About Art Design Lebanon (AD Leb)

AD Leb is the pilot project of Gaïa Fodoulian who was killed in the Beirut port explosion of 4 August 2020. Gaïa’s mother, gallerist Annie Vartivarian, is realizing this vision as a tribute to her daughter. AD Leb is a not-for-profit gallery, all proceeds will go to the Gaïa Fodoulian Foundation, an organization that supports and cares for animals in need and provides assistance for animal rescuers.

IG / FB: @artdesignlebanon

MIRROS Communication is collaborating with AD Leb as part of its project Reviving Beirut through Arts and Culture, whose mission is to support Lebanon’s devastated arts and culture industry as a result of the explosion. #RevivingBeirutArtsCulture