Gabriele Basilico

Beirut 1991

27 juin- 29 juillet 2006

Beirut 1991

In 1991 Basilico was one of the six photographers of “the Beirut photographic Mission”, with Depardon, Elkoury, Burri, Koudelka and Frank. The purpose was to record visual traces of the city centre after the end of the war. This collective project was financed by the Hariri Foundation and a book was published with the title “Beyrouth centre-ville” ( Editions du Cyprès,1992).

The present exhibition in Gallery Anne Barrault shows some of Basilico’s unpublished photographs which are worth not only as historical documents, with his well-known talent, but more deeply for what they reveal beyond appearances.

As a matter of fact, after fifteen years of civil war, Beirut, destroyed and still mined, is beginning to get out of this nightmare.

Its ravaged historical heart is trying to beat again. While death marks can be seen everywhere, life has not yet found its birthplace. Between the end of an epoch and the beginning of a new one, between the ruins of the past and the preparation of the future, what is left is but nothingness, emptiness, absence, silence.

Basilico, with much humbleness, catches what is suspending between disappearance and appearance, between death and resurrection, and invites us to watch the miracle of the eternal return to life.


At the same time as this exhibition, a retrospective of the artist is shown at the “Maison Européenne de la Photographie”  from June 21st to October 8th 2006.