01 May 2007

Arman Beirut



A long, long time ago, Del put up a picture of Arman's 1995 Espoir de Paix.


Her picture is a good deal better. Its hard to get a good picture of it, and anyway, I wasn't really trying. Go see hers. It shows it from a different angle.

Anyway, ever since her post, I've been wondering exactly where to find it. Since directions are impossible here and basically don't exist I was so pleased to happen upon it by chance one day as I was driving home from my husband's ancestral village in the valley. With the pesky location problem solved I'd been waiting for the right day to go visit it. And today was the day.

If you click over to Del's blog, you'll see that there's some negative sentiment about this monument to the Lebanese Army. It's ugly, sure, but that's not really a problem for contemporary art. Ugly is our old standby.

It it has an important flaw and this is it: the Espoir de Paix in an ineffective memorial. This was comissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Lebanese Army. So, lets ask ourselves what an army ought to be. Well, at the very least it should not be stuck, encumbered, weighed down, static, literally made up of obsolete equipment that is trapped in cement anyway. None of the associations are good.

Well, Arman's reputation is a good association, but only for the art-obsessed. They know that it is significant that something like this is here in Beirut. But that's something for the culture crowd to cheer about, not the army.

4 comments:

megan said...

"Ugly is our old standby."

beautiful

Josh said...

that was me

Matthew said...

As near as I was able to tell, all the military vehicles in the exhibit are French. Maybe he was able to get a discount on surplus harward or something....

dad said...

Hmmmm?