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"Allan Sekula – Photography at Work," now up at the Beirut Art Center, is one of the standout photography exhibitions in Lebanon this year. Curated by BAC director Marie Muracciole, the show provides an in-depth survey of the American photographer, writer, filmmaker and theorist's practice over several decades, and features prints, slide shows, publications and video work."Photography at Work" is not that kind of show.Sekula's at times apparently casual framing is anathema to the type of composition and editing that has become industry standard in mainstream documentary storytelling and "picture-perfect" photography.This work intersects poignantly with "Waiting for Tear Gas," 1999-2000, images Sekula produced during the Seattle World Trade Organization protests, and with "Europa," 2011, an image of a migrant sleeping in an airport.Sekula's work is a constant invitation to evaluate. BAC's exhibition is accompanied by useful (but perhaps too-detailed) wall graphics, created in collaboration with photography students from AUB's Studio Arts program, that contextualize Sekula's work.
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