26 — 28.05.2022
Rayyane Tabet Beirut-San Francisco
performance — premiere
In July 1967 a marble sculpture of a bull’s head – dated c. 360 BC and 33 cm in height – was excavated from the Eshmun Temple in Saida, Lebanon. At the time, four photographs of the sculpture were taken, to be included in the inventory of the excavation. The head was looted and lost during the years of the Lebanese Civil War but in July 2017, exactly fifty years after its discovery, the sculpture reappeared, now on display in the Greek and Roman galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The next day, a legal case was set in motion for its repatriation. From this starting point, The Return uses trial transcripts and a series of interviews with key witnesses to travel across the fifty years and address the troubled relationship between antiquities and national identity. Rayyane Tabet moves in a scenic space, halfway between a courtroom and an anatomical theatre, in which we are both jury and spectators. Starting from the known elements and proceeding with great lucidity, he slowly approaches the dark years at the heart of the story. For Tabet – born in Lebanon in 1983 and currently based between Beirut and San Francisco – it becomes a way to raise questions about traceability, and what it means to protect the past for a state that does not protect its present.
The performances of The Return by Rayyane Tabet are unfortunately cancelled due to Covid 19. Ticket holders have received more information by e-mail. Info and refunds via email@example.com or +32 (0)2 210 87 37.
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Brigittines
Conceived, developed and performed by: Rayyane Tabet | Surtitles and translation: Babel Subtitling
Acknowledgements: Anne-Marie Afeiche, Leila Aminddoleh, Kim Benzel, Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Matthew Bogdanos, Dries Douibi, Eungie Joo, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Rolf Stucky and the entire team at Kunstenfestivaldesarts
The Return is the project supported by the Friends of Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2022