Bassam Ramlawi (Beirut, Lebanon; 1976)
Working during the day in a juice shop owned by his father, Ramlawi has a studio practice mostly in the evenings, and on the few days where he does not work in the shop. He studied Fine Arts at the Lebanese University in Beirut (1996-2000) and at the AKV, ST Joost ('s-Hertogenbosch), in the Netherlands (2004-2006).
Bassam likes to think of his working method as a non-precise, faux-Marxist and local socio-realistic influence. All what he does must be outdated by now. Even when he draws from memory, or when he plays on words being influenced by René Daniels, who admired artists like Duchamps, Broodthaers and Picabia.
Ramlawi’s reality could possibly be imagined, we encounter Sylvia von Harden in his paintings confronting characters from Bassam’s entourage, yet, he believes, this is the reality of the moment itself. It reflects what is happening in his mind, around him at home, during work, in the streets and in the city where he often goes around to deliver juice on his scooter.
His exhibitions include Exhibition number 17 at Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, LB, 2010-11; Mounira Al Solh, René Daniels and Bassam Ramlawi at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, NL, 2011; The Ungovernables , the New Museum, New York, USA (2012); Tactics of the Here and Now, The Bucharest Biennial 5, Romania, 2012 and Dear Art in Ljubljana Modern art Museum in 2013.
A publication has been made about his work: In a Time Fleece, a publication about Bassam Ramlawi written by Mounira Al Solh in collaboration with Jacques Aswad. Published by the Uriot Prize and the Rijksakademie in 2011.
Mounira al Solh has made a video/documentary about him and his work that was first shown on local Spanish TV. You can see the link here below. The title is “Seven reversed scenes about Bassam Ramlawi”, this video was commissioned and produced by Manifesta 8 in the regions of Murcia and Cartagena in Spain in 2010. It was produced with the generous support of FONDS BKVB.
Video title: Seven reversed scenes about Bassam Ramlawi, 9’, HDV and animated scans/drawings.