Ziad Antar

b. 1978

Ziad Antar has been working in photography and film since 2002. Best known for a practice that intervenes in the conventions of documentary photography, Antar infuses seemingly ordinary subjects with a nostalgic aesthetic through the use of expired film and out-dated cameras. The result is a visual practice deeply engaged with the historical and theoretical discourses of the medium of photography, rich in poetic beauty and conceptual complexity.

The photographs in Portrait of a Territory were taken between 2004 and 2011, when Antar travelled along the coast of the United Arab Emirates, documenting a long and ebbing history of sea trade and commerce; namely the monumental urban development against abandoned worksites and unrealised projects. Using a Rolleiflex camera for depth of field and a Holga for imprecise contours, Antar fractures a sense of chronological time, instead merging the ultra contemporary landscape of the Gulf within its longer maritime history. Equally manifest in these works is Antar’s interest in the intensity of light, an element integral to the photographic process. Portrait of a Territory speaks of the artist’s ongoing fascination with the everyday and the ways in which his technique transforms apparently transparent images into rich historical and formal contemplations.

Ziad Antar was born in 1978 in Saida, Lebanon. In 2001, he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the American University of Beirut. His focus shifted to art after participating in a 2001 workshop run by Lebanese filmmakers Mahmoud Hojeij and Akram Zaatari. He continued his training at Ecole Superieure d'Etudes Cinematographique in Paris. He has exhibited his work in galleries, museums, and in book format, to much international acclaim. He lives between Saida and Paris.