art in lebanon
The Exhibition in Deir el Qamar – Photography by Rayan Hajj

“Under the Same Sky: From Italy to Lebanon” is a project consisting of artworks by Italian artist duo Antonello Ghezzi (who are Nadia Antonello and Paolo Ghezzi) and Lebanese artist Ralph Hage, and curated by Maie El-Hage. The project is supported by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Beirut. The project is currently installed in Lebanese University, Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture Branch IV, Deir el Qamar campus in Lebanon and is open to viewers by appointment until November 30. Furthermore, the project is available online in video format, including an Artist Talk that we held on Zoom on Wednesday, November 11.

In the midst of the turmoil in Lebanon these days, we found the will, the joy and the magic to realize our project, in between two lockdowns. We finished shooting the project (both daytime and nighttime photography and videography) before the current lockdown, and we presented the project to our audience online on Saturday, November 14, 2020. The videos are available on Facebook and YouTube.

The Videos were produced thanks to our team Rayan Hajj (for photography and videography) and Bassem Daouk (for video-editing and audio-work/ music that is original score).

The Exhibition in Deir el Qamar, nighttime – Photography by Rayan Hajj

Facebook online event Here.

YouTube link Here.

Artist Talk Here.

In moments of difficulty, in the most trying episodes of our life, we can retreat into nature. The forests of our minds are reflected in the forests of nature, and in these moments of retreat, looking up into the sky reminds us of the universality of our human experience.

We are in a globally lived and shared experience. We belong to the same planet, found within the same galaxy. In this context, Antonello Ghezzi’s flag of the Milky Way is neither a political nor a religious flag, not a banner of war but of peace and brotherhood, one anyone can call their own. The message of the artists’ work is that it is the flag of the world and it flies in a village full of history where over the centuries people of different religions, different languages, different stories coexisted as part of a single great story, that of the world and its people.

Flags by Antonello Ghezzi – Photography by Rayan Hajj
Milky Way Galaxy image copyright Antonello Ghezzi

“We are all under the same sky both in Italy and in Lebanon, the same everywhere in the world” says the artistic duo Antonello Ghezzi, “I am with you, I have always been with you, don’t be afraid” is our love message for Beirut. We are Italian but in Lebanon we found our second homeland and after the explosion of August 4th we thought of this title for this work of art.”

“We are Italian but in Lebanon we found our second homeland,” says Antonello Ghezzi artist duo.

Our perception of the Sky is mirrored by our lived experience on this planet. In that way, the environment that contains us fully shapes our perception. “Underlying the forest of the mind are the same processes that organize both natural and cultural environments,” says artist Ralph Hage.

“As an artistic project Nature is A Forest of Symbols expresses my view of the human mind as a natural environment; part of my ongoing preoccupation with our perception and cognition as a constant act of world-building that manifests as the organization of the cultural and political worlds.” The seven digital paintings by the artist, printed on stretched canvas, extend between the trees of the courtyard and invite reflection in the promenade.

Digital Paintings by Ralph Hage – Photography by Rayan Hajj

The project is the artist’s poetic description of the underlying geometry of the world and its cosmology, part of the attempt at expressing the idea that on all levels, we are, as he says, “constantly creating the world that is creating us”.

Digital Paintings by Ralph Hage compiled in Video animation
Photography by Rayan Hajj – Video projection (editing and music) by Bassem Daouk

At Deir el Qamar Lebanese University campus, and in the garden courtyard, we invite you to come and have a meditative experience under the stars.

Follow Maie El-Hage on instagram

Follow Ralph Hage on instagram @hage_ralph

Follow Antonello Ghezzi on instagram @antonelloghezzi