Scripted Encounters, Oblique Gestures, Insatiable Translations

Artist Talk by Omar Mismar

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 8PM

Visual artist Omar Mismar will discuss his artistic practice for the first time in Beirut. Culling several projects created within the past 6 years, the talk draws provisionary schemata that grapple with desire in the city, the beautiful in the terrible, and the parasitical in the host. From ephemeral actions to sculpture, installation, video, and performance, Mismar seeks to establish a lexicon of practices that allow for scrupulous buoyancy between the gestural, the aesthetic, and the political. Between the aestheticization of lived realities, and the instrumentalization of ambiguity and aesthetic sensibilities, is there a space that we can occupy? By wagering on a poetic occupation, a performative obliqueness emerges, which preserves the fiction essential for artistic discourse while critically disarticulating, making strange, the ideological insinuations inherent to concrete political situations.

Omar Mismar is a Lebanese visual artist and educator currently based in Beirut. He moved to San Francisco on a Fulbright award where he completed an MFA in Fine Arts-Social Practice and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts. He attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2016 and the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2017. His work was shown in various exhibitions in California and New York. Mismar has taught at California College of the Arts, the University of San Francisco, the American University of Beirut, and the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. Parallel to his studio practice, he is currently an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts in the Department of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut.

Image caption: Still from I will not find this image beautiful, I will not find this image beautiful, I will not find this image beautiful (An unfinished monument). Video installation, 11 hr. 43 min., 2015. (Original image courtesy of Hatem Moussa/AP)