Mounira Al Solh
Born in 1978, in Beirut (Lebanon)
Lives in the Netherlands and in Lebanon
Mounira Al Solh is a visual artist with a practice embracing inter alia video and video installations, painting and drawing, embroidery, and performative gestures. Irony and self-reflectivity are central strategies for her work, which explores feminist issues, tracks patterns of microhistory, is socially engaged, and can be political and escapist all at once.
Al Solh studied painting at the Lebanese University (Beirut) from 1998 to 2001, and Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) from 2003 to 2006. She was also Research Resident at the Rijksakademie (Amsterdam) in 2007 and 2008.
Her work has been displayed at the Venice Biennial in the exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2015 and as part of the Lebanese Pavilion in 2007.
She also had several solo shows such as at Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut); Kunsthalle Lissabon (Lisbon); Art in General (New York); CCA (Glasgow) and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau (Amsterdam) among other places.
Group shows include The New Museum’s Triennial (New York); Homeworks (Beirut); Haus Der Kunst (Munich); Manifesta 8 (Murcia); The Guild Art Gallery (Mumbai); Al Riwaq Art Space (Manama); Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin) and the 11th International Istanbul Biennial.
Most recently in 2015, she has been shortlisted for the Abraaj Group Art Prize in Dubai. She was also nominated for the Volkskrant Award in the Netherlands in 2009 and won the Uriôt Prize at the Rijksakademie in 2007, and the Black Magic Woman Award in Amsterdam the same year. In 2007, her video, Rawane’s Song, received the jury prize at VideoBrasil, and in 2003, she was awarded the Kentertainment Painting Prize in Lebanon.
In 2008, Al Solh started NOA Magazine (Not Only Arabic), a performative gesture co-edited with collaborators such as Fadi El Tofeili and Mona Abu Rayyan (NOA I & II), and Jacques Aswad (NOA III). Many artists and non-artists contributed to the different editions of the magazine, which are neither distributed nor exhibited, and can only be consulted by appointment, or during accousmatic readings.
In 2013, as an extension of the NOA Magazine, Al Solh initiated in collaboration with curator Angela Serino, the NOA Language School, which operated as a temporary research platform for artists, linguists, researchers and immigrants who would meet in Amsterdam in order to think about language in relation with immigration. In this context, Al Solh explored in a dialogical mode, topics such as treason, arrest, fragmentation of language and schizophrenia.
In 2013 Al Solh organized A Stopping Place Called Hearsing, a research week on language in relation to the publication of NOA III, and in collaboration with Kunsthalle Lissabon, AIR Antwerpen, and 98 Weeks Beirut. During this week, artists were invited to Beirut in order to perform and show their works. Discussions were also organized at 98 Weeks and Villa Fleming, Al Solh’s studio in Beirut.
From 2012 to 2014, also in Villa Fleming, Al Solh hosted several informal and non-programmatic artists talks and presentations.
Al Solh is represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut & Hamburg, and is thankful to Mondriaan Fonds in the Netherlands for their ongoing support to her practice.