Before the Cypress Broke
Virtual studio visit: Gregory Buchakjian and Valerie Cachard
Thursday 29 April, 6pm Instagram Live @derryvoid
To coincide with our current exhibition, Void Director Mary Cremin, Nathalie Ackwai of Beirut Art Residency (BAR) will be in conversation with artists Gregory Buchakjian and Valèrie Cachard where they will discuss the artist’s practice, influences and the work Abandoned Dwellings. Archive, 2018, on show in Before the Cypress Broke.
From 2012 to 2015, Valérie Cachard and Gregory Buchakjian have collected in Beirut’s abandoned buildings objects and documents left there by the inhabitants, illegal occupiers or by nature. 700 elements were cleaned up, photographed and filed, with the idea of returning them to their rightful owners or their heirs or to the city via a public institution. Abandoned Dwellings. Archive is a filmed performance that was created in 2018 in the context of the exhibition Abandoned Dwellings. Display of Systems, at Beirut’s Sursock Museum. Their latest collaboration Agenda 1979 (2021) is a continuation of these archive-based interventions produced in Lebanon.
Director of the School of Visual Arts at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts-Alba, Gregory Buchakjian is an art historian and interdisciplinary visual artist. His exploration of abandoned dwellings led to a PhD dissertation at Sorbonne Université (2016), solo exhibitions at Sursock Museum, Beirut (2018) and Villa Empain, Brussels (2019) and the publication Abandoned Dwellings, A History of Beirut (Beirut, Kaph Books: 2018). He was part of the first Lebanese Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and in 2019, he co-organized the 2nd Alba Cinema Encounters “Filming in Times of War, 1975-1990” for which he produced the installation Where do Filmmakers go? Member of the advisory committee of the Saradar Collection (2012-2019), he took part in juries including Sursock Museum Salon d’Automne (2009), Boghossian Prize (2012), Beirut Art Center Exposure (2013), Beirut Art Residency (2017) and Arab Documentary Photography Program (2019).
Author of novels – Déviations et autres détours (2016), plays – Matriochka ou l’art de s’évider– (2015) and texts accompanying art projects – Nos âmes en chantier with Saïd Baalbaki and Géographie du printemps with François Sargologo, Valérie Cachard is also an actor. Her recent works include Histoire de la poule et de l’œuf (2018), The Table of Confidences, an interactive intervention for a single spectator at Sursock Museum, Beirut (2019) and Abandoned Dwellings, Archive, a filmed performance with Gregory Buchakjian displayed at Sursock Museum (2018), University of California, Irvine (2019) and Villa Empain, Brussels (2019). Recipient of the 2019 RFI-Theatre Award for Victoria K, Delphine Seyrig et moi ou la Petite Chaise jaune, the 2011 Etel Adnan Award for Women Playwrights and the 2005 Young Francophone Writer Prize and, she is the Co-President of the Int
Void Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, Department of Communities, The National Lottery Community Fund, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Enkalon Foundation, Ragdoll Foundation, COVID 19 Charities Fund, Art Fund, The Arts Society, Community Foundation NI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Garfield Weston Foundation.
Void Gallery is also a member of the PlusTate network.