GINANE MAKKI BACHO
Presenting Exodus, Meem Gallery’s first exhibition with Lebanese artist, Ginane Makki Bacho.
Drawing on some of the most notorious images and footage of the last few years, Exodus chronicles the emergence of the so-called Islamic State. Made up of nearly fifty sculptures, the majority of which were painstakingly forged from scrap metal collected in Bacho’s home town of Beirut, the roughly assembled structures take over the gallery space, transforming it into a sinister, sweeping tableau.
Bands of marauding, armed fighters hang out of the sides of tanks and cling onto overcrowded motorbikes, racing towards the viewer with barbaric intent. Pathetic prisoners in cages follow on, mounted onto the backs of trucks, a sickening parade designed to inflict maximal terror. The gruesome conclusion comes in the form of rows of kneeling victims dressed in familiar orange jumpsuits, flanked by their faceless executioners, knives to necks, posing for their macabre yet sophisticated publicity materials soon to be broadcast around the world. This intimidating spectacle gives way to a flotilla of densely packed small boats. These more refined works, cast in bronze, evoke increasingly familiar scenes from the media, an exodus resulting in a refugee crisis which has already begun to destabilize large parts of the world.
As the influence of IS within Syria and Iraq begins to subside, Exodus leaves us with many unanswered questions. Aside from its widely used definition: Exodus [a going out; a departure or emigration, usually a large number of people], the term also refers to the final scene of a play in Ancient Greek theatre. Is this indeed the final scene of this brutal play?
Working in multiple media, Ginane Makki Bacho is best known for her painting, printmaking and sculpture. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Beirut University College in 1982, shortly before being displaced by the civil war. Moving to America in 1984, she went onto receive a Master’s of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Painting from the prestigious Pratt Institute, New York in 1987.
Bacho’s work is held in several public and private collections including the Hariri Foundation, Washington DC; the Dalloul Collection, Beirut; the KA Collection, Beirut; the Museum of Digne les Bains, Cabo Frio Museum, Rio de Janeiro; the Arab League, Washington DC and Biblioteca Alexandrina, Alexandria.