Funny, How Thin The Line Is: Documents from The Atlas Group Archive

  • 11 November 2005 - 8 January 2006

Artist Walid Raad established the imaginary foundation The Atlas Group in Beirut in 1977, to research and document the contemporary history of Lebanon. The Atlas Group Archive is based in Beirut and New York and includes dozens of films, videos, photos, notebooks and other objects - some found, some created and some donated. The archive is organised in three file type categories: Type A (for documents attributed to an identified individual); Type FD (for found documents) and Type AGP (for documents attributed to The Atlas Group).

Informed by real situations, objects, events, personal and collective stories, The Atlas Group question the distinction between fact and fiction, with a humanity and humour that reignites our curiosity in the truth.

This exhibition at FACT explores the meanings, experiences and feelings produced by the impact of war.

In mimicking familiar media formats, such as the video documentary or the witness testimonial, The Atlas Group do not set out to record what actually happened, but provide us with the opportunity to think about what can be imagined or taken for granted about Lebanon's wars, enabling us to also reflect on events in other parts of the world, such as London, Baghdad, New York, and Madrid.

 

In 1992, The Atlas Group initiated a project titled Funny, How Thin The Line Is to study and document the 3641 car bombs detonated in Lebanon between 1975 and 1991. The Atlas Group collaborated with architects, photographers, artists, writers, dancers, musicians, physicists, psychologists, fortune-tellers, schizophrenics and hypnotists, amongst others. From these collaborations, they gathered and produced documents that explored the consequences of the detonations on contemporary and future urban life in Beirut and elsewhere.

The Atlas Group and Walid Raad have exhibited internationally and FACT is proud to present this range of new and existing work in Gallery 1 and 2, which not only highlights how artists are using technology today, but also how technology is being used to shape our present and future.

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