Attaining the Unattainable: A Landscape in Conflict | Manal Abu-Shaheen

Manal Abu-Shaheen (b. 1982, Beirut) is a Lebanese-American photographer currently living and working in Long Island City, NY. In her latest work, Abu-Shaheen has captured the proliferation of billboards, carrying mythologized images of western civilization, draping the Lebanese landscape. The images capture the tension between sanitized versions of western capitalism, and the gritty down-to-earth material reality of Lebanon. In her words, “Advertising functions best when it engenders desire by coupling the attainable with the unattainable.” The photographs are striking, and terrifyingly beautiful, that burn in your consciousness the inherent paradox in the capitalist promise.

Manal Abu-Shaheen (1982, Beirut) es una fotógrafa Americana-Libanesa residente en Long Island City, NY. En su último trabajo, Abu-Shaheen, captura la proliferación de carteles publicitarios que muestran imágenes mitológicas de la civilización occidental cubriendo el paisaje libanes. Las imágenes capturan la tensión entre versiones saneadas del capitalismo occidental y la cruda realidad material del Líbano. En sus propias palabras, "La publicidad funciona mejor cuando genera el deseo de conexión entre lo alcanzable y lo inalcanzable.” Sus fotografías son impactantes y tremendamente hermosas, evocando inconscientemente la paradoja de la promesa capitalista.

Beirut/Big Ben. Dbayeh, suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. 2014. Archival Pigment Print. 16x24"

Johnnie Walker Post-War Advertisement. After 2006 conflict. Beirut, Lebanon. 2006-2014. Archival Pigment Print. 10x15.5"

Nahawand. Beirut, Lebanon. 2014. Archival Pigment Print. 16x24"

View for Hotel Window. Beirut, Lebanon. 2016. Archival Pigment Print. 16x24"

Millen/Bissell. Beirut, Lebanon. 2014. Archival Pigment Print. 13x18"

Facebook: @manal.abushaheen


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