Creation from Destruction : Frieze Masters 2020London
Beirut (Mosque in Background), 1991
With frame: 115 x 146 x 6 cm (45 1/4 x 57 1/2 x 2 3/8 in.)
ProvenanceThis artwork is acquired directly from the Gabriele Basilico Archive
“Gabriele Basilico doesn’t like to travel, and yet his photographs describe an endless panorama of places. He likes cities, factories, structures; yet he represents them as abandoned, empty...”
“In 1991 Basilico was invited to Beirut with other photographers to document the city just after the civil war had ended, and just before a massive programme of rebuilding began. He did not take the easy road of simple commentary, but approached the stage before him as an archaeologist might...In his eyes destruction has the same consequence as the slow and unavoidable erosion of time.”
“The Beirut photographs are not an indictment of war but a poetic reflection of the relentless folly of mankind that can still create tragic but beautiful images out of destruction and hate. Every image is a meditation on the silence of time that each ruin carries within itself. For Basilico, beauty always contains a dark side that belongs to history’s deception, to its capacity to transform tragedies into a monument, as in the marvel of the Colosseum’s architecture, which conceals the brutality of its function...”
Born in 1944 in Milan, Gabriele Basilico exhibits internationally in Milan, Paris, Lausanne, Cahors, Lugano, Venice, Zurich, Kwangju, Amsterdam, Turin, Sao Paolo, Cambridge Mass., Santiago de Compostela, Naples and Istanbul. Winning the Prix Mois de la Photo in Paris, he later publishes the volume Scattered City, containing more than 160 unpublished images from 2001-2005.
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