Mounira Al Solh: I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous

Past Exhibition

In the ongoing series I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous, Mounira Al Solh collects personal histories and experiences that emerge from the humanitarian and political crises in Syria and the Middle East.

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Born in Beirut to a Lebanese father and a Syrian mother, the artist began the series in 2012, shortly after the popular uprising in Syria that led to the ongoing Syrian war. These drawings and embroideries document private encounters and conversations between herself and those fleeing the war in Syria –forcibly displaced to Lebanon, Europe and the United States. The more than one hundred and fifty portraits displayed here, chronicle individual accounts of departure, arrival, trauma and uncertainty. They invite us to reflect on how migration and displacement, conflict and resistance, continue to shape our world today.

The embroideries presented in the museum’s atrium hall, engage with collective histories by involving collaborators, and materializing the threads connecting families and friends across the physical and temporal distances caused by mass exodus. Al Solh’s ever-expanding project culminates here with Sperveri (2017), a bed-tent installation that is a monument to those lost in transit. Just as these works have emerged from spaces of conversation in Lebanon, Europe, and the United States, this exhibition, presented in Doha, becomes a stage for conversation. 

Curated by:
Hendrik Folkerts (Art Institute of Chicago)
Laura Barlow (Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art)

About the Artist

Mounira Al Solh’s artistic practice spans video, drawing, painting, embroidery, photography, performance and magazine publishing. Exploring the weight of our histories with a humorous and often self-reflective approach, her work can be deeply political – yet also fictional and fantasized. Al Solh lives and works between Lebanon and the Netherlands.