Abir Kobeissi *Beirut, Lebanon
Abir Kobeissi works with painting,drawing, textiles, ceramics,Film, performance, text or photography and is continuously expanding both her technical and manual skills and the complexity of the presentation of her work.
Conceptually, she deals with the interaction between personal narration and being involved in different social, cultural and political contexts.
Personal experience leaves the private framework and is translated into critical reflection, into an artistic language that is able to transform the artist’s personal experience into a prism for the viewer to get an idea of the world:
Migration, political or social power relations, body images, language, life and death pose themselves in Abir Kobeissi’s works as universal questions of our time. She lives and works in Munich since she joined the class of Jorinde Voigt in 2017 at the Academy of fine Arts-Munich.
Born in Beirut, she grew up between Lebanon’s capital and Zibdin, a village in South Lebanon. She studied Interior Architecture at the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts, graduating in 2011. After graduation she worked in interior architecture corporations and as part of the Middle East Airlines flight attendant team, an experience that had a tremendous impact on her view of the planet as a fragmented whole. Upon leaving the MEA fleet, she dedicated herself to visual art, exploring the city of Beirut and its relationship with its inhabitants.
Kobeissi’s work considers the relation between space, time and survival, their effects on her as an individual who makes part of a collective, through considerations of her environment , heritage, mobility, immobility and instincts.
Manifesting the many-faceted and rapidly changing city, Kobeissi’s expressive artworks comment on nostalgia and alienation in Lebanon’s capital, documenting how she considers herself simultaneously a native and a stranger to the city. Her oeuvre is colored by the Civil War experiences of her parent’s generation, her own wartime experiences in South Lebanon in April 1996 and Beirut in July 2006.
She started intensifying her artistic practice by adopting the concept of the “Container” since 2013, manifested as water tanks, gas cylinders and other symbols of urban life and survival in Lebanon.
©Abir Kobeissi / text: Inger Hannisdal