Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
The Lebanese Rocket Society: The Golden Record | 2011
Video installation and frieze. 19 min. Ed.5/6
It was said that the group of scientists of the Lebanese Rocket Society installed in the head of the Cedar rockets, before launching them, to be able to track their path, a radio transmitter which broadcast on a radio wave a message.
A few years later, in 1977, American space exploration missions, Voyager 1 and 2, carried messages for potential extraterrestrials, engraved on golden records, of sounds and images selected to “represent the diverse forms of life, history and culture on earth” as a message of peace and liberty. A kind of “interstellar greetings”.
“The Golden Record” of the Lebanese Rocket Society is a visual and sound installation based on archives of the 60’s and inspired by the memories of the various members of the Lebanese Rocket Society. Similar to a time capsule, the records form a portrait and a sound representation of Beirut and of the world in the sixties.
Biography of the artist
Born in Beirut, Lebanon. 1969
Works and Lives in Paris and Beirut
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige collaborate as filmmakers and artists, producing cinematic and visual artwork that interwine. For the last 15 years, they have focused on the images, representations and history of their home country, Lebanon and questioned the fabrication of imaginaries in the region and beyond.
Together, they have directed documentaries such as "Khiam" 2000-2007 (2008) and "El Film el Mafkoud" (The Lost Film) (2003) and feature films such as "Al Bayt el Zaher" (1999) and "A Perfect Day" (2005).
Their feature film, "Je Veux Voir" (I Want to See), starring Catherine Deneuve and Rabih Mroue, premiered at the Cannes film festival in 2008. The French critics Guild chose it as Best Film Singulier 2008.
Their films have been multi awarded in international festivals and enjoyed releases in many countries.
They have created numerous photographic installations, among them "Faces", "Lasting Images", "Distracted Bullets", "The Circle of Confusion", "Don’t Walk", "War Trophies", "Landscape of Khiam", "A Faraway Souvenir" and the multifaceted project "Wonder Beirut".
Their artworks have been shown in museums, biennials and art centers around the world, in solo or collective exhibitions and are part of important public and private collections, such as Musee d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; FNAC France; the Guggenheim, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, France; V & A London, the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, etc. They are recipients of the 2012 Abraaj Capital Art Prize with "A Letter Can Always Reach Its Destination" and won the price Marcel Duchamp, 2017 for their work "Unconformities" (2017).
In 2012 they presented their feature documentary "The Lebanese Rocket Society", the strange tale of the Lebanese space race » and a series of artistic installations around the space project of the 60's.
They are the authors of numerous publications and university lecturers in Lebanon and Europe, members of the board of Metropolis Cinema, and co-founders of Abbout Productions with Georges Schoucair.
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