Works on paper is a commission of APEAL, A Museum in the Making, and T.A.P. Temporary Art Platform. Twelve artists were invited to realize a site-specific intervention on a Lebanese newspaper. My intervention, titled Down the Line, was created out of my research on the processes of reconstruction in Beirut, a catalyzer of ongoing social and political tensions involving the whole region.
I found out that The Executive Magazine published an article, which was actually an April fool’s joke, but the magazine did not reveal it. This report described an allegedly advanced plan to build a new capital of Lebanon, implemented by some globally well-established real estate investment firms. I addressed The Executive’s staff, and proposed them to grant me a related interview, as if the prank were actual news. Thomas Scheller – The Executive’s editor - and Matt Nash – head of Economics & Policy section – accepted to have a conversation on the upcoming capital’s plans and possible features. They answered my questions with ironic and sharp examinations. By reflecting on local issues of the public arena, internal and foreign policies, historical considerations, they drew some hypothesis on the implementation of an ambitious project for a better city. They elaborated on the issue of public realm, evoked different models of public space elsewhere, and imagined a future scenario based on the paradoxes inhabiting Beirut and its complex transformations.
The article was signed Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, founder of Super Studio, the Italian project of Radical Architecture. It integrated conversations on the matter with several architects and scholars: Charbel Maskineh, Christian Zahr, Rani al Raji, Marieke Krijnen, Fares Chalabi.