This exhibition continues the New Museum’s Screens Series, a platform for the presentation of new video works by emerging contemporary artists.
EcoRove, Where Can We Be Found?, 2023 (still). HD digital video, 42:22:16. Courtesy the artists.
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Where Can We Be Found? (2023; أين يمكن أن تجدنا؟) is a research project and film that focuses on the state of Lebanese Cedar trees (Cedrus libani) today, exploring the various ecologies that the tree inhabits and co-inhabits. Shown in two parts and accompanied by a pair of animated drawings, the film re-tells transhistorical narratives of the Cedar, which has been used since ancient times as a symbol of eternity and immortality. Tracing various degrees of human impact leading to the tree’s contemporary demise—for example, the disruption of its habitat due to climate change and extractive tourism—and its use as a civic emblem to craft the illusion of a distinct Lebanese identity, Where Can We Be Found? distinguishes the Lebanese Cedar as an autonomous being from the various ways in which it has been used as a national, cultural, and ecological symbol, or otherwise misconstrued.
This project was made possible with generous support from The Arab Fund for Art & Culture Fine Arts Grant (2020).
“Screens Series: EcoRove” is curated by Ian Wallace, Curatorial Assistant.
About the artists
EcoRove is a collaborative, multi-media, research-based project examining the politics of critical zones and the livelihood of humans and non-human species who dwell in them. The initiative seeks to engage and expose a broad spectrum of voices and practices that narrate, document, and design the complex relationships that define ecosystems.
Jumanah Abbas is an architect, writer, and curator who works on collaborative projects with institutes and universities, most recently “Mapping Memories of Resistance: The Untold Story of the Occupation of the Golan Heights” with London School of Economics, Birzeit University, and Al Marsad, Arab Human Rights Center in Golan Heights; and Tasmeem Biennial 2022, themed around Radical Futures, by Virginia Commonwealth University, where she was appointed to curate the biennial’s spatial design. She is currently working on the upcoming Qatar Museums’ Quadrennial project, a multi-site art exhibition opening in 2026.
Iyad Abou Gaida is an architect and researcher who has worked in offices in Tokyo, Beirut, and New York. Iyad’s research engages ecologies of human and non-human beings to address aesthetic and socio-political urgencies for architecture and urbanism across dimensions and geographies. His work Foraging Alternative Ecosystems was exhibited at the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale. Iyad received his B.Arch from Lebanese American University and his M.S Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia GSAPP.
Em Joseph is an artist, filmmaker, and educator using photography, video, and writing. Her work locates triangulations between communities, landscape, and larger geopolitical issues. Joseph is Part-Time Faculty of Sustainable Systems at The Parsons School of Design at The New School and was previously Adjunct Assistant Professor of Photography at Columbia University in New York City. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.