Akram Zaatari was born in Saida, Lebanon in 1966 and lives in Beirut. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the American University of Beirut in 1989, and a Master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York in 1995. He worked at Future Television in Beirut between 1995-1997 where he produced most of his early videos which mainly focused on exploring the documentary and the formal possibilities provided by video as a medium. His departure from television coincided with his co-founding of the Arab Image Foundation through which he developed his study project on photography and his ideas on collecting as an art practice.
Zaatari’s work is deeply invested in researching photographic practices in the Middle East, examining how photography serves to shape notions of aesthetics, postures and social codes. He is interested in looking at the present through a wealth of past photographic records that he collects. Since 1999, Zaatari has been focusing on the archive of Studio Shehrazade in Saida, Lebanon studying, indexing, and presenting the work of photographer Hashem el Madani (1928 -) as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices.
Zaatari’s work reflects on the shifting nature of borders and the production and circulation of images in the context of the current political divisions in the Middle East. His videos and photographic installations look into technologies of image production and communication and the notions of surveillance, exploring the ways different media apparatuses get employed in the service of power, resistance, and memory.
His work has been shown at Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Grey Art Gallery (NYU), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Munich Kunstverein, Lisson Gallery (London), MUSAC (Leon, Spain), Sfeir Semler Gallery (Beirut/Hamburg), and the Van Abbe Museum. He took part in the Torino Triennale 2008, and the biennales of Venice 2007, Gawangju, Sydney and Sao Paolo 2006. Retrospectives of his video work have been presented at the Tate Modern, French Cinematheque, Festival des 3 Continents / Nantes, and Oberhausen Short Film Festival. His videos have been shown at film festivals such as the Berlinale, FID/Marseille, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Videobrasil.
Artist Code: 406
2015, 104:53 minutes, colour, Arabic with English subtitles
2014, 28:20 minutes, colour, No language
2013, 34:00 minutes, colour, No language
2013, 14:26 minutes, colour, English
2012, 07:37 minutes, colour, English text and subtitles
2010, 11:49 minutes, colour, English
2010, 38:00 minutes, colour, Arabic
2008, 08:45 minutes, colour, English
2008, 11:51 minutes
2005, 31:17 minutes, colour
2003, 87:00 minutes, Colour/B&W, Arabic & Eng
2003, 18:43 minutes, Colour, English
2001, 60:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
2001, 32:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w English subtitles
2001, 29:48 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
2000, 10:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
1997, 43:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
1997, 26:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
1996, 06:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w English s.t
1996, 08:00 minutes, Arabic w English s.t
1996, 27:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w English. s.t.
1995, 07:00 minutes, Arabic w English s.t
1995, 10:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w English s.t
1995, 11:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
1994, 10:00 minutes, Arabic w English s.t
1994, 07:00 minutes, Arabic w English s.t
1994, 08:00 minutes, Arabic w Eng. s.t.
1994, 35:00 minutes, B&W, Arabic w English s.t.
by . Toronto: Vtape, 2022.
by . Toronto: Vtape, 2021.
by . Toronto: Vtape, 2017.
by . C Magazine, Summer 2014, no. 122.
by . MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2012.
by . Artforum, Oct. 2006, v. 45, no. 2.
by . Camera Obscura, 2003, v. 18, no. 3.
by . HomeWorks: A Forum on Cultural Practices in the Region (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria), 2003. Beirut: Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, 2003.
by . Camera Obscura, 2003, v. 18, no. 3.
by . Home Show, Sept. 12 Summer, 2002.
by . Transit visa on video and cities, 2001. Beirut: Transit visa, 2001.