Gregory Buchakjian


Gregory Buchakjian (b. 1971) is a Beirut based art historian and photographer. PhD graduate at Université Paris IV Sorbonne, he is assistant professor at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), where he co-founded, with Pierre Hage-Boutros and Rana Haddad, Atelier de Recherche ALBA (1997-2004), a transdisciplinary platform that triggered public interventions in issues such as memory and space appropriation.
Gregory Buchakjian est photographe et historien d’art, il vit et travaille à Beyrouth. Titulaire d'un doctorat à l'Université Paris IV Sorbonne, il est professeur assistant à l’Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), où il avait cofondé, avec Pierre Hage-Boutros et Rana Haddad, l’Atelier de Recherche ALBA (1997-2004), une plateforme transdisciplinaire ayant appréhendé des problématiques urbaines telles la mémoire et l’appropriation de l’espace.

Buchakjian’s scholarly research in modern and contemporary Lebanese and Arab art generated numerous publications including War and Other (Impossible) Possibilities. Thoughts on Arab History and Contemporary Art (2012) and talks. Unrest, decay and heritage are among the issues discussed in his PhD dissertation, Abandoned Dwellings in Beirut. Wars and Transformation of the Urban Space. 1860-2015.
Ses recherches sur l’art au Liban et dans le Monde Arabe sont régulièrement matérialisées par des publications dont War and Other (Impossible) Possibilities. Thoughts on Arab History and Contemporary Art (2012) et des interventions. L'instabilité politique, la ruine et le patrimoine figurent parmi les problématiques abordées par sa thèse de doctorat intitulée : Habitats abandonnés de Beyrouth, guerres et mutations de l'espace urbain, 1860-2015.

His personal work deals with the city and its history through multiple scopes including writing (Halte), installation (Leningrad), animation film (What, shoes?, 2006) and most notably, photography. His first exhibition, Nighthawks (Beirut, 2008, Noorderlicht Photofestival, 2011) captured underground nightlife in Lebanon post-2006 war. Since 2009, he is exploring derelict dwellings in Beirut. This long-term photographic project that involves mapping, architectural exploration, archive collecting and narratives is simultaneously the origin of the PhD dissertation, one of its subjects, and one of its outcomes. Son travail personnel aborde différentes pratiques dont l’écriture (Halte), l’installation (Leningrad), le film d’animation (Quoi, des Chaussures?) et principalement la photographie. Sa première exposition, Nighthawks (Beyrouth, 2008, Noorderlicht Photofestival, 2011), saisissait les images d’une vie de nuit sous haute tension politique. Depuis 2009, sa camera explore les habitats abandonnés de Beyrouth. Ce projet qui engage la cartographie, l’exploration architecturale, la collecte de documents et de récits est à la fois l’origine de la thèse de doctorat, un de ses objets, et un de ses aboutissements.

He is member of the advisory committee of the Saradar Collection, he took part in many academic and artistic juries including Boghossian Prize (2012), Beirut Art Center’s Exposure (2013) and Beirut Art Residency (2017). Membre du comité consultatif de la Collection Saradar, il a pris part à de nombreux jurys académiques et artistiques, dont le Prix Boghossian (Villa Empain, 2012), Exposure  (Beirut Art Center, 2013) et Beirut Art Residency (2017).

::timeline::
2017 (11) [publication] Fouad Elkoury. Passing Time. Kaph Books, Beirut, LB [view project]
2017 (11) [publication] Abdel-Hamid Baalbaki, Saleh Barakat Gallery and Alarm editions, Beirut, LB [view project]
2017 (10) [talk] "2007: The Pavilion of Lebanon", Venice Biennale and the Arab World conference, Ca' Foscari, Venice, IT [view website]
2017 (05) [publication] "Les petits lits blancs" in Revue Le courage nº3: Age d'or / Age de fer. Éditions Grasset & Fasquelle, Paris, FR [view project]
2017 (03) [talk] ARP Talk: Memories of Stones, conversation with Said Baalbaki. in partnership with ARP–ALBA-University of Balamand, Sursock Museum, Beirut, LB [view website]
2016 (11) [talk] "Refugee Crisis in the Levant", panel in Design, Culture and Societies, ARD 11, Ateliers de la Recherche en Design, at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), Beirut, LB [view website]
2016 (06) [PhD defence] "Abandoned Dwellings in Beirut. Wars and Transformation of the Urban Space. 1860-2015", Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris, FR [view website]
2016 (06) [publication] Confined Space by  Laura J. Padgett, text by Gregory Buchakjian. Published by Galerie Rautenstrauch and Anke Ehle-Barthel, Frankfurt, DE [view project]
2016 (05) [talk] Discussion with Ali Cherri following the projection of his films The Disquiet and The Digger, Sursock Museum, Beirut, LB [view website]
2016 (04) [talk] Discussion moderator with Antoine  Moreau,  Michel  Lasserre and Paola  Yacoub, International Conference: L’action d’art (The Action of Art), Sursock Museum, Beirut, LB [view brochure]
2016 (01) [talk] "Excavating ghosts from one's artwork", in Art and Ideology, Seminar at the Centre André Chastel / Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris, FR [view brochure]
2015 (11) [publication] Wadi Abou Jmil. Artist Book by Saïd Baalbaki, text by Gregory Buchakjian, Berlin, DE [view project]
2015 (10) [publication] Beirut by Night. A Century of Nightlife Photography, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, BRILL, Leiden, NL [view project]
2015 (10) [publication] Last nights at the Holiday Inn in Litterature, art and contemporary world: narratives, history, memory, Colloquium papers, edited by Nayla Tamraz, Presses de l'Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut, LB [view project]
2015 (10) [talk] "Lebanon at war[s] in Contemporary Artistic Practices" with Marwan Rechmaoui, Mounira Solh, Fares Chalabi, Hachem Adnan, Lamia Abi Azar and Ghassan Maasri. Colloquium organized by Ifpo, Mansion, Beirut, LB [view website]
2014 (12) [seminar] Unintentional Monuments of the Lebanese War, Inalco - Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris, FR
2014 (11) [publication] Michelangelo Pistoletto in Beirut, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, LB [view project]
2014 (09) [publication] Michel Basbous, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, LB [view project]
2014 (08) [talk] "Modernity out of the Center", Temporary Art Platform, Miziara, LB [view website]
2014 (06) [talk] "Art Practices Beyond the Contextual Narrative in the Middle East: Forms, Poetic Images and Other Aesthetics" with Umer Butt, Pascal Hachem, Basim Magdy and Amanda Abi Khalil (moderator), Art Basel, Basel, CH [view website]

2014 (05) [talk] "Last nights at the Holiday Inn", in  Literature, art and the contemporary world: narratives, history, memory colloquium, Université Saint-Joseph (USJ), Beirut, LB
[view brochure]

2014 (04) [talk] "Aref Rayess and the 1960s-1970s Beirut Art Scene", round table with Catherine David, Amal Traboulsi and Joseph Tarrab, Artistic Research Practices (ARP) at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), Beirut, LB

2014 (03) [consultancy] Michel Basbous: A Modernist Project for Lebanon, collaboration with Agial Art Gallery, Art Dubai Modern 2014, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, AE
2014 (03) [consultancy] Huguette Caland: Bringing Life into Shapes, collaboration with Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Art Dubai Modern 2014, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, AE [view brochure]

2014 (01) [talk] "The Artist in the Arab World: Between Political Crisis and Petrodollars", in The artist's identity in European and International History, Seminar at the Centre André Chastel / Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris, FR [view website]

2013 (12) [installation] Abandoned Dwellings from Beirut to Namibia, produced by Valerie Cachard, Kolmanskop, NA [view project]
2013 (11) [consultancy] Member of the jury of Exposure 2013 exhibition dedicated to emerging artists in and from Lebanon, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, LB [ view website] 
2013 (09)
[consultancy] Pascal Hachem, You Always Want What the Other Has (Edition 2013), Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome, IT [view website]

2013 (04) [installation] Leningrad, Pellicula exhibition, Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, LB [view project]
2013 (04) [talk] "Ethics and photography", Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, LB

2013 (03) [publication] Hanibal Srouji. Painting fire, water, earth and air [view project]
2012 (10) [publication] Art from Lebanon, Modern and Contemporary Artists, volume 1: 1880-1975, launching, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, LB [view project]
2012 (05) [consultancy] Member of the jury of the Boghossian Foundation Prize for Young Lebanese Artists 2012, Villa Empain, Brussels, BE [view website]

2012 (05) [publication] War and Other (Impossible) Possibilities, launching, Papercup Store, Beirut, LB [view project]
2012 (04) [consultancy] Advisory board member of ACE / Saradar Group for the constitution of a museum collection for modern and contemporary art in Beirut, LB [view website]
2012 (03) [publication] Art is the Answer, Villa Empain, Brussels, BE [view project]

2012 (01) [photo projection] The Dress at Platform, Pictures of the Year event, National Museum of Singapore, SG [view website] 
2011 (09)
[photo exhibition] Nighthawks at Metropolis, City Life in the Urban Age, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groniningen, NL [view website] 
2011 (03) [talk] Lebanese Contemporary Art and its Market, roundtable, Beirut Art Fair, Biel, Beirut, LB
2011 (05) [consultancy] Museum of Vine and Wine official launching press conference, Bristol Hotel, Beirut, LB

2011 (03)
[photo exhibition] Beach Life at Q Calling the Shots, vol. II, Narrative Photography, Q Contemporary, Beirut, LB [view project]
2010 (12) [photo exhibition] Black Glam at Salon d'Automne, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, LB
2010 (11) [photo exhibition] Bejart/Baalbeck at Q Calling the Shots, vol. I, Architectural Photography, Q Contemporary, Beirut, LB [view project]
2010 (06) [publication + exhibition] De Lumière et de Sang, Fondation Audi, Beirut, LB, catalogue Alarm Editions [view project]
2010 (04) [publication] Esteban Lisa, Fundación Esteban Lisa, Buenos Aires, AR and Fundación Antonio Pérez, Disputación de Cuenca, ES [view project]
2010 (02) [publication] Convergence. New Art from Lebanon, Katzen Arts Center, Washington D.C., US [view project]
2009 (07) [photo exhibition] Under(the)line, Araman Factory, Bourj Hammoud, LB [view project]
2008 (08) [publication] Pièces Choisies, collection Bank Audi, Beirut, LB [view project]
2008 (06) [performance] Le franc tireur, l'architecte, le consul et l'arménien, IESAV, Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut, LB [view project]
2008 (05) [photo exhibition] Nighthawks, Comme des Garçons Guerilla Store, Beirut, LB [view project]
2008 (01) [publication + installation] Pending Piece, Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Beirut, LB [view project]
2006 (09) [film] What, Shoes, Festival de Genève La Bâtie, Geneva, CH; Beirut D.C., Beirut, LB; Nafas Beirut, Espace SD, Beirut LB; Dubai International Film Festival, Dubai, UAE; Sydney Arab Film Festival, Sydney, AU; Shorts and Shwarma, Institut Français, London, UK [view project]
2006 (05) [publication] Halte, ed. Labor et Fides, Geneva, CH [view project]
2003 (08) [installation] Points d'eau, Salima, LB, with Atelier de Recherche ALBA in partnership with Patrimoine Sans Frontières and Institut Français d'Architecture [view website]  
2002 (11) [publication] Pas de Place, with Atelier de Recherche ALBA, Beirut, LB [view project]
2001 (09) [installation] Dialogue des Cultures dans un jardin de sourds, Centre Culturel Français, Beirut, LB, with Atelier de Recherche ALBA [view project]
2001 (07) [publication + installation] Lieux: 1 Acte / 2 Pièces, Fraykeh Silk Factory, LB, with Atelier de Recherche ALBA and Fraykeh Festival 2001 [view project]
2001 (02) [installation] 1 Acte / 2 Pièces, Théâtre de Beyrouth, Beirut, LB, with Atelier de Recherche ALBA and Shams [view website] 
2000 (05) [installation] Machines Célibataires, Beirut Hall, Beirut, LB,  with Atelier de Recherche ALBA [view project]
1999 (07) [installation] Bien Fonds 1237: l'architecte, le vernaculaire et le franc tireur, La Fabrika, Beirut, LB,  with Atelier de Recherche ALBA [view website] 
1998 (07) [projection] Mois de la photographie au Liban, various locations, LB, with Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts ALBA [view project]
1997 (10) [performance] Hommage au Grand Théâtre de Beyrouth, Grand Theatre, Beirut, LB, with Atelier de Recherche ALBA and Companie Théâtre Ecarlate
1997 (05) [installation] L'ALBA Marque l'Espace du CCF, Centre Culturel Français, Beirut, LB,with Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts ALBA [view project]
1997 (04) [publication] Les maîtres du temps, for L'Agenda Culturel [view project]
1996 (04) Launching of Baron & Baron, www.baronbaron.com [view project] 
1995 (11) [publication] Le musée à l'école: Cezanne, for L'Agenda Culturel [view project]
1995 (10)
Starts teaching at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, ALBA, Beirut, LB

1995 (09) Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies (D.E.A.) in Art History, Université Paris IV, Sorbonne, Paris, FR

1993 (06) Maitrise in Art History, Université Paris IV, Sorbonne, Paris, FR

1987 (08) [performance] This is a slide of my House, Legacy International Youth Program, Bedford, VA, US [view project]
1971 (07) Birth in Beirut, LB