January 26 – March 31, 2019
Composed of a survey of Mahdi Baraghithi’s early to most recent work, Zalameh delves into the notions of the body, home, and the mundane through the manipulation of found images and texts. The exhibited works produced in Palestine, France, and Lebanon, range from mixed media to installation to collage, with a focus on ongoing themes of engaging and deconstructing images of the Arab man found in popular, national, and religious culture. Baraghithi explores the positioning and gendering of the male body through the different frameworks of social and political stereotypes inscribed onto the body, which contour definitions of manhood and acceptable forms of masculinity in society.
Infused with fantastical elements of popular culture, craft, and kitsch, the artist often inserts his own body and recycled images downloaded on social media accounts to carefully perform and fabricate situations as a way to probe the stereotypes interrogated in these works. The series of collages and immersive installations together become an environment that breaks through the patriarchy and gives an access point to a critical deconstruction of the perception of the male body. Alongside the decorative adorning of bodies and scenarios with florals, lace, and repetition, Baraghithi collects and produces cutouts of local iconography and other faceless subjects, placed against white backgrounds to produce an effect that is no longer personal yet empowered in their isolation. Here, the exhibition transports us to a maneuvered sphere determined by local popular culture, technical manipulation, and the image imaginary.