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BACKBONE - سند الظهر

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"BACKBONE" is a multidisciplinary exhibition from Lebanese artist Mazen Khaddaj.

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⁣BACKBONE is a collection of video performances, multichannel installations, and documentation about the relationship with the artist Mazen Khaddaj and his father, and his death in December 2020 in Lebanon.⁣ After a long and heavy battle with COVID19, his dad surrendered and left him at the age of sixty-three. His passing was like an earthquake that shook Mazen´s reality and left his broken.

His dad, Melhem, was a traditional man that worked tirelessly to provide for his family. For many years, until his death, he worked every day in his shop in Aley, Mount Lebanon. Melhem was a man of faith and very respected in his town, he was also strict with his children and required a lot of attention. He was kind towards his family and friends and loved them fiercely, but hid his feelings way beneath his tough exterior. He was noticeably very proud of Mazen´s only and eldest brother, Hassan. Hassan got married, had a child, and took over the family business.

"How could I have told my dad who I was? I already looked different, I wore tight clothes and had non-traditional artistic hobbies. I was soft and sensitive, and kept my sexuality hidden in a tightly sealed closet. Melhem always associated my lifestyle and looks with an artist's way of life.  He was not interested in my art, but he cared about me and supported me financially in my endeavors", so Mazen about his father.

The exhibition is an explosion of grief and other unprocessed emotions stemming from Mazen´s childhood into his adult years. With this show, he opens his world and depict the story of a gay Arab boy and his conservative father. The exhibition is in memory of his beloved dad, Melhem Khaddaj.

Mazen Khaddaj was born 1985 and is a multidisciplinary Lebanese artist working in painting, performance, video art, and installation. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut in 2008. His background includes working as an Art Director in multinational advertising companies for several years before eventually dedicating himself fully to the arts. 


Please note: To take part in events at Oyoun or visit our exhibitions, you need to have a negative corona test from the same day or proof of vaccination / recovery. FFP2 Masks are mandatory at Oyoun until further notice. Further information about our hygiene concept can be found here: oyoun.de/hygienekonzept.

The vernissage for this exhibition takes place at 21.10.2021 at 16:00 PM. Please check for reservation: https://www.eventbrite.de/e/backbone-vernissage-tickets-187769201737

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