Rayyane Tabet

Basalt Shards, 2017

1000* Euro

In his works, Rayyane Tabet (*1983 Achkout, lives and works in Beirut) explores the connection between minor histories and major events through form and material. The exhibition BRUCHSTÜCKE / FRAGMENTS, for the first time, brings together works of a long-time research and exhibition project.

It all begins with a coincidental overlap of the artist’s family history with the story of the discovery of the Tell Halaf temple by German diplomat and Orientalist Max von Oppenheim. In 1929 Tabet’s great-grandfather, Faek Borkhoche, was appointed by the governing authorities of the French Mandate stationed in Beirut as Max von Oppenheim’s secretary to gather information on the excavations von Oppenheim was conducting in the village of Tell Halaf in Syria. Von Oppenheim was suspected to prepare a coup against the colonial powers, but no proof was found. In reality, von Oppenheim was more interested in Tell Halaf for its archeological remains since 1899 when he had accidentally discovered parts of a temple.

Upon his return to Berlin, in 1930 von Oppenheim opened his own private Tell Halaf Museum in an abandoned factory building in Charlottenburg to present his finds. In 1943, during one of the nightly bombing raids on Berlin, the building and most of the objects were destroyed, among them artefacts made from basalt stone, that shattered into 27.000 fragments.

A reconstruction project started in 2001 at the Pergamon Museum where the shards were kept in storage. 25.000 pieces have been reassembled since. 2.000 fragments were unable to be identified or matched. As part of the Artists-in-Berlin residency program of the DAAD, Tabet gained access to the material and made rubbings of the unidentified shards. Thus, the artist emphasizes the material traces of a loss of cultural heritage, that maybe might never be recovered.

For the annual edition program of the Kunstverein, provides ten of the original rubbings.

  • Exhibitions:
  • 2017
  • BRUCHSTÜCKE / FRAGMENTS, Kunstverein in Hamburg (S)
    KOPF HOCH! MUT HOCH! UND HUMOR HOCH!, Daad Gallery, Berlin (S)
    Ah, my beautiful Venus!, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (S)
    The restless earth, La Triennale di Milano, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Mailand (G)
    A Good Neighbour, 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (G)
  • 2016
  • La Mano De Dios, Museo Marino Marini, Florenz (S)
    Not New Now, Marrakech Biennale 6, Marrakesch (G)
  • 2015
  • ONLY GODS NEVERTHE, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg (S)
    The Past, The Present, The Possible, Sharjah Biennial 12 (G)
    New Skin, AISHTI Foundation, Beirut (G)
  • 2014
  • Here Today Gone Tomorrow, Trouw Amsterdam (S)
    Nouveau Festival 5, Centre Pompidou, Paris (G)

  • 2013
  • Future Generation Art Prize, Collateral Events, 55th Venice Biennial, Venedig (G)