Again we are defeated presents a selection of new works by Rabih Mroué (Lebanon, b. 1967), whose artistic practice spans the disciplines of theater, performance, music, and visual art. Mroué’s work engages with the contemporary politics of the Middle East and the enmeshed history of discord in the region, often drawing from his personal experience of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990). In this installation, the Berlin-based artist considers the repeated cycles of violence affecting people of the region by examining his own encounters with the conflict as mediated through the news.
The works on view explore Mroué’s ongoing resistance to ways that images of war are circulated and absorbed by the public. By selectively obscuring content culled from newspapers and engaging with the intimate and meditative act of drawing, the artist offers his own reading of these events and another way of processing the everyday atrocities of war. Mroué has produced some 200 drawings and collages as well as video on the subject, in which he serially tracks the recurring impressions of conflict. When amassed as shown here, the works create an homage to the phantom presence of the dead.
Presented in conjunction with the artist’s lecture-performance Sand in the Eyes and the premiere of Borborygmus, a theater work by Mroué, Lina Majdalanie, and Mazen Kerbaj, as part of the Walker’s Out There series in January 2019.
Curators: Allie Tepper and Gwyneth Shanks, Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellows, Walker Art Center