Inferno, Letter to Lara

From October 20 to December 21, 2021
Alice Mogabgab Gallery, Beirut / Brussels presents the exhibition
Inferno, Letter to Lara
film-exhibition, 2021, 20’, French with Arabic & English subtitles.
Works by Etel ADNAN, Samuel COISNE, Yann DUMOGET, Nicolas GAILLARDON, Fadia HADDAD, Gilbert HAGE, Houda KASSATLY, Annie LACOUR, Saverio LUCARIELLO, Dia MRAD, Samar MOGHARBEL, Eric POITEVIN, Nada SEHNAOUI, SERSE, Samir TABET.

French version (PDF) English version (PDF) Arabic version (PDF)

In 1321, 700 years ago, Dante Alighieri accomplished the feat of galvanizing the profoundly divided Italian peninsula through a single language, that of The Divine Comedy. A literary and philosophical masterpiece, this linguistic monument would become a singular catalyst for a modern Italy.
In 2021, on the other side of the Mediterranean, a small country, known for having spread, some thousand years ago, the Phoenician alphabet, is sinking into darkness. Lebanon, hostage to regional powers and local political and financial operators, is disintegrating; the country is literally vanishing.

Inferno – Letter to Lara is neither poetry nor fiction, but the true story of a descent into Hell. Written and read by Alice Mogabgab, gallery owner in Beirut since 1991, the Letter to Lara revisits the race into the abyss of a whole country; a race foreshadowed over the years, an abyss condemned by artists through their exhibitions, to the detriment of a society that is wrecked by wars but continues to live in denial …
The works shown in this film were created between 1991 and 2021 and evoke universal scourges and their repercussions in the modern world, but primarily their impact on a defenseless population.
From the lust for money and power to the labyrinths of corruption … through a series of works, here is the story of a divine tragedy.

The film-exhibition. The living and working conditions imposed by the Covid 19 sanitary crisis have been challenging for everyone, everywhere. In Lebanon, the vertiginous race to the bottom driven by the pandemic has ended up destroying the country and brought the population to its knees.
But the history of Lebanon has taught us that giving in is the worst thing that can happen! To reinvent oneself is to survive. To transform oneself is to surpass oneself. It is thus through Nicolas Khoury’s camera that the first film-exhibition at Galerie Alice Mogabgab, Beirut / Brussels, Inferno, Letter to Lara, sees the light of day, after two years of isolation and disasters. Produced with simple means, the film presents artworks in a wholly unique context, at the same time particular and global, intimate and universal. 
Like a message in a bottle, carried by the waves and the currents of the web, the exhibition Inferno, Letter to Lara, begins its journey on the internet at the premiere of the film, Wednesday 20 October at 8pm.

The Exhibition Catalogue.
Text by Alice Mogabgab (French, English, Dutch and Arabic).

Download the catalogue (PDF)
SAMAR MOGHARBEL, Foundation Brick, 2016, earthenware and hay,
32 x 15 x 10 cm. and 38.5 x 21.5 x 9.5 cm. ©Artist and Albert Saikali.