Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, 'Wonder Beirut #13, Modern Beirut, International Centre of Water-skiing', from the series 'Wonder Beirut: The Story of a Pyromaniac Photographer'

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, 'Wonder Beirut #13, Modern Beirut, International Centre of Water-skiing', from the series 'Wonder Beirut: The Story of a Pyromaniac Photographer'

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige
Both born Beirut, Lebanon, 1969. Live Beirut and Paris, France
'Wonder Beirut #13, Modern Beirut, International Centre of Water-skiing', from the series 'Wonder Beirut: The Story of a Pyromaniac Photographer'
1997–2006
C-print mounted on aluminium with face mounting
Museum no. E.1124-2012
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum
Courtesy of the artists and CRG Gallery, New York and In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc, Paris

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige collaborate as filmmakers and artists, producing cinematic and visual art work that intertwine. In the series 'Wonder Beirut' they use photography to blur fact and fiction. The artists noticed that tourist postcards of pre-civil war Beirut were still for sale after the war ended in 1990. They invented a fictional photographer named Abdallah Farrah who, in 1968, was commissioned by the tourist board to make postcard views of Beirut’s attractions. When the civil war broke out in 1975, he began to burn his negatives to reflect the surrounding destruction. The artists present these works as prints from the fictional photographer’s damaged negatives.