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Galerie Janine Rubeiz is not Beirut's biggest exhibition space.In "An Empty Plot of Land," which opened just after the 40th anniversary of the start of the war, Tarazi is showcasing a collection of works from various series, all of which relate to the idea of remembrance. Tarazi wasn't yet working as an artist in 2005, when he first had the idea for a memorial.If each individual memorial object cost $1, Tarazi needed to find $200,000 .Tarazi has created long, panoramic multimedia works, some paintings, other digital collages of old black-and-white photographs, still others mixtures of the two.In one work, entitled "Vessels," Tarazi quotes a man who recalls how during the war he and his fellow militiaman were ordered to lock captured enemies inside metal shipping containers.This horror story slowly unfolds in a single line of text as viewers turn the handle, accompanied by black-and-white photos published in newspaper during the war, showing Beirut's port, fishing boats at sea, families sunbathing on the sandy beach and men being marched at gunpoint toward the waves.In "East and West," part of an experimental series featuring the artist's own memories of the war, he has created a single large panoramic painting, consisting of multiple related frames, and then cut it in half vertically.
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