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The distinctive facade of the Barakat Building, otherwise known as Yellow House, is dwarfed by the featureless, towering skyscrapers that crowd its adjacent lots, as though waiting to engulf it.The Yellow House is one of 13 historic houses around Beirut recreated in clay for the solo exhibition "Without Traces," currently on show at Hamra's Agial Art Gallery.Mogharbel explains that she works from a photograph of each building, inventing the details she is unable to verify.The series began with a model of the artist's family house, which was razed and replaced with a new building. A modest two-story house with a spacious porch, it was exceptional only for the memories it housed. In "Without Traces" Beirut's old houses are captured in all their decrepit beauty, the skyscrapers replaced with featureless shapes.One piece, modeled on an old house in Hamra, was created after Mogharbel became fascinated by the usual shape of the walls, which form a zigzag. She was unable to go inside or to access the back of the building to see how it was laid out, so she invented a structure that seemed to fit with the unusual facade.
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