Rabih Mroué b. 1967
Face A / Face B (2002)
Face A / Face B is an autobiographical journey spanning from the artist’s childhood to the present, in the context of the Lebanese civil war. The video includes photographs, voice, melodies and historical data, in a story that explores aspects such as the nature of memory, the human voice and identity. Through a cassette tape that he and his brother recorded to send to a third brother who was living in Russia, the work questions the meaning of the past and shows that collective and personal histories are inseparable and intertwined. The video (in Arab with English subtitles) includes a song recorded by the artist and his brother, and also the testimony of their mother and sister, in a family polyphony addressed to the absent brother. The recorded voices are accompanied by projected old photographs of the protagonists and of the effects of the war on the artist’s childhood home. Private and collective memories mingle in a collection of voices that bring together personal memory, political critique and philosophical reflection.