Fragments | Rayyane Tabet

Date: April 26 – August 4, 2018
Location: Sfeir-Semler Gallery

Rayyane Tabet’s Fragments explores an archaeological dig led by Max von Oppenheim, a German diplomat and ancient historian, in Tell Halaf, Northeast Syria, at the turn of the 20th century. The project stemmed from a performance presented at the 2016 Marrakech Biennale, and evolved through a residency at the DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Program, and a show at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. The completed project was presented in Tabet’s first major institutional solo at the Kunstverein in Hamburg in November 2017. In 1929 Tabet’s great-grandfather, Faik Borcoche, was appointed by the governing authorities of the French Mandate stationed in Beirut as von Oppenheim’s secretary to gather information on the excavations the latter was conducting in the village of Tell Halaf in Syria. This encounter leads Tabet to uncover a story that connects his family to major historical figures. He raises questions on the survival of heirlooms, the preservation of archeological artifacts, cultural appropriation, museological practices, and migration patterns.

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