ArteEast, in partnership with Art Omi International, is pleased to announce Bassem Yousri and Lara Tabet as the two recipients of the 2016 ArteEast Artists Residency at the Art Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY. This joint residency initiative began in 2011 supporting MENA artists in order to encourage and bolster a global arts exchange.
Bassem Yousri is an Egyptian visual artist and independent filmmaker whose work has been featured throughout the Arab world, USA and Europe. His multimedia installations, films and street art exhibit his range in scope and practice. His recent work served as a platform for dialogue and examination into the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and its aftermath. Bassem’s art in conjunction with social media captured the upheaval in Egypt and across North Africa and the Middle East during the Arab Spring. He engages his audience with striking visual narratives regarding political and social upheaval as well as Egypt’s current situation as a microcosm for society at large. Most importantly, his work creates a discourse for art’s place in society and its capacity as a means of resistance.
Lara Tabet is a Lebanese visual artist, pathologist and photographer. Her work has been featured throughout the Arab world, USA and Europe. Her photography redefines the organization of space, focus and depth in connection to gender, sexuality and identity. Her most recent work contemplates the co-constitutive relationship between the individual and public/private space. Her voyeuristic technique explores the human body and its relationship to the city by confronting the interaction between the body and the ideological state apparatus. The composition and presentation of her photographs clearly demonstrates her background in pathology and inspects the legacy of trauma in Lebanon, as Lara states, “I am interested in the idea of trauma as it relates to both the Body and the City. Using my family history of genetic disease and the political instability of my homeland Beirut, I explore the interplay between the individual and the collective.” Her photographs create a window into the psychology and corporeality of the individual and its connection to the fragmentation of Lebanese modernity.
Both of these artist’s residencies at Art Omi are made possible through the ArteEast Residency Initiative, a program open to contemporary visual artists based in the Middle East and North Africa. The Residency Initiative is a cornerstone of our efforts to ensure that talented artists in the region have access to premier international career-building opportunities, with an emphasis on reaching artists who otherwise have limited access. Each of ArteEast’s sponsored residencies concludes with an ArteEast ‘Connect’ extension in New York City, through which we facilitate introductions between our artists-in-residence and arts professionals and supporters in New York City who can foster their continued success and visibility.