Beirut, I Love you
1,001 Knights: Beirut
I was born in war. Everything around me now is war. War has always been.
I cannot remember a time when there was no war.
I was born in 1976. I grew up watching far too much TV. I became a key player in the newly established consumer culture. I watched cartoons, music videos, and wars being televised. I grew up with Madonna and Michael Jackson... Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi. Pink is like cotton candy. It’s fluffy and sweet. Too much of it, though, will leave your teeth rotten and a bad pain in your stomach. It’s quick and superficial. It pulls you in fast, but leaves you feeling very empty. Like a shopping spree at a giant mall. Spandex, lolipops, MTV versus Communism, glitter, shoulder pads, the war to control oil, Glam Rock and hairspray, Thatcher and Regan’s conservative revolution versus Barbie and Jem, high-tops, Rambo, and fluorescent earrings to me are the backdrop that represents a generation that grew up pink.
My work as a by-product of political and economic turmoil. My attention is directed to issues of violence, gender and religion and how they find their place in our bubblegum culture. Walking along a street in Beirut, one will find a large painting of a martyr, next to a shop that sells lingerie, next to a billboard advertising beer, next to a cop holding a Kalashnikov, next to a man with a pushcart selling the latest pirated Shakira CD.
I am trying to expose the superficialities of war in our region. I am trying to convey the message that war is a commercial venture and is as shallow and forged as the plastic in my soldiers.
Enter my 1,001 knights.
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