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© Page couverture l Book cover, There was and There was not (Kan ya ma Kan), 1996.

Jayce Salloum
From October 31st 1996 to December 7th 1996
There was and there was not


October 24th 1996
Artist talk
Concordia University

Novembre 1st 1996
Artist talk

This installation, serves to examine the representation of Lebanon, and its history as constructed in our collective and individual psyches. Lebanon has been used as a metaphor, as a site serving the real and imaginary for various visitors throughout its history. It has been a ground for continuous claims, discursive texts and acts of re-construction. It has become an adjective for the nostalgia of our past and the fears of future. We have come to understand so very little in spite of the massive amounts of information we have received regarding Lebanon, that for one to even mention the name all sorts of images come to mind.

"(Kan ya ma Kan)/ There was and there was not" is a transposition of a working studio and found archive, presenting the resources and artifacts necessary to re-construct an understanding of the mediated process inherent in the definition and perception of a culture.

This installation examines the use of images and representations of Lebanon Beirut both in the West and in Lebanon itself, focusing on specific points in the history of and issues in its representation by various inhabitants and visitors, and situating one’s own subjectivity in relation to the issues at stake and the fixations and instability of identity existing wihin a diverse culture and the displacement between cultures.

The installation incorporates arrangements of objects collected in Lebanon, photographs, videotape loops, texts (the artist and others’), documents, maps, other reproductions, light boxes, and archival materials, to call into question our notions of history and research methodology and the rules in the effacement of histories and the layers involved in depiction / representation and understanding of another culture. Here the viewer is part of the process, being forced to make decisions and to take responsibility for re-constructing her / his own cultural perceptions.

"(Kan ya ma Kan)/ There was and there was not", has been exhibited at American Fine Arts, Co., New-York, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, Western Front-Vancouver, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien-Berlin, the Shedhalle-Zurich and Update ’96 – Copenhague. In late 1996 it will be continued to be exhibited and produced as an ongoing research & exhibition project at Optica Gallery – Montreal and YYZ Artists’ Outlet-Toronto.
-Press release (Optica)

There was and There was not (Kan ya ma Kan) (pdf version)

Go to publications catalogue.

Jayce Salloum has been working in installation, video, photography and mixed media since 1975, as well as curating exhibitions, conducting workshops and coordinating cultural events. His works deals with a variety of contexts critically engaging itself in the representation of cultural manifestations and other cultures. Salloum has shown at numerous institutions throughout North & South America, Europe, the Middle East and other regions, including venues such as American Fine Arts, P.S.1.-New York; LACE, LACPS – Los Angeles; The Wexner Center- Ohio, Walker Arts Center; A Space, YYZ, National Film Board – Toronto; Oboro, Articule, Optica Gallery – Montreal; Western Front, Contemporary Art Gallery, Video In – Vancouver; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography – Ottawa; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, The American Centre, Institut du Monde Arabe – Paris; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien-Berlin; Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Fotoptica Int’l Video Festival – Sao Paulo; American University of Beirut and Theater de Beyrouth- Beirut; and broadcast on DUTV-Philadelphia, Independent Focus/WNET-New York, KBDI-TV/Colorado and The 90’s Channel/Free Speech TV.