Marwan Rechmaoui

Marwan Rechmaoui Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Marwan Rechmaoui
Beirut Caoutchouc


Engraved rubber

3 x 825 x 675 cm
Marwan Rechmaoui is a Lebanese artist whose work often deals with themes of urban development and social history. His Beirut Caoutchouc is a large black rubber floor mat in the shape of Beirut’s current map. Embossed in precise detail with roads and byways and segmented into 60 individual pieces demarcating neighbourhoods, Rechmaoui’s installation scrutinises the physical and social formation of one of the world’s most conflicted cities. Through this piece, Rechmaoui highlights these divisions to question the underlying causes and consequences of cultural difference, affiliation, and identity, and explore how the city’s troubled history has both impacted and shaped the everyday lives of its inhabitants.
Marwan Rechmaoui
Spectre (The Yacoubian Building, Beirut) (detail)


Non-shrinking grout, aluminium, glass, fabric

Spectre (The Yacoubian Building, Beirut) is an exact replica of Rechmaoui’s former apartment building. The building was evacuated in 2006 during the military conflict with Israel, and is presented as eerily vacant, signifying the abrupt end of its use and the abandoned lives of its inhabitants. Made from concrete and glass, held together by grout and thin wooden strips, the structure subtly buckles and warps in a precarious balance. Details such as shop front signs and colourful house-proud doors barred behind security screens point to a once vibrant community and its deterioration, evidencing the cultural, political and economic shifts that transform locality and mark an increasingly unstable and anxious relationship to place.

Marwan Rechmaoui's Biography

Marwan Rechmaoui
Born in 1964, Lebanon
Lives and works in Beirut


Centre Culturel Français, Beirut


La Route de la Soie, Tri Postal, The Saatchi Gallery Collection, Lille
Home Works 5, Beirut Art Centre, Beirut

Landscapes.Cityscapes.1, Maqam Art Gallery, Beirut
Unveiled: New Art From The Middle East, The Saatchi Gallery, London
MAC Contemporâneo - Instalações - Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo

Never-Part - Histories of Palestine - BOZAR - Palais des Beaux-Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels
OÙ ? Scènes du Sud – Volet 2 - Carré d´art - Musée d´art contemporain de Nîmes, Nîmes
HOMEWORKS IV - Galerie Sfeir-Semler - Beirut, Beirut
Art Now in Lebanon - Darat al Funum, Amman

Borderline Behaviour, TENT, Rotterdam

Belonging, 7th Biennial, Sharjah

Laughter, LIFT, the Barge House, London

Home Works II: A Forum on Cultural Practices, Beirut , Possible Narratives,VIDEOBRASIL, Sao Paolo

Contemporary Arab Representations, Lebanon, The Bildmuseet, Umea, Witte de With, Rotterdam, FundaciĂł Antoni TĂ pies, Barcelona

Missing Links, Art Practices From Lebanon, Townhouse Gallery of ContemporaryArt,Cairo

Mediterranean Metaphors II, Contemporary Art from Lebanon, The BoursanCulture and Art Center, Istanbul

Centre Culturel Français, Beirut, UNESCO Prize, International Biennial, Cairo

Château de Serviers, Marseille