Reviving Forgotten Spaces: The KINO Vendôme Project for Beirut Design Week
As part of its cultural activities revolving around the relationship between the urban landscape, the human experience and art, and as a participant in the Beirut Design Week, Mina23 has launched “Reviving Forgotten Spaces”: a project that aims to recreate the experiences relative to derelict spaces scattered around Beirut.
For the first chapter in this series of experiential revivals, mina23 has teamed up with Lebanese visual artist SISKA (Elie Alexandre Habib / Color Club) & German artist Franziska Pierwoss, to recreate the experience of Cinema Vendôme at the abandoned beer factory “Brasserie du Levant.”
SISKA already tackled this subject with his KINO Project that started in Beirut aiming to revive a former movie theatre that was closed down, demolished or transformed. The KINO Project has already been traveling across cities since 2009, reviving movie theatres through several editions.
It was truly challenging to get to the location – neither our seasoned driver nor the locals sitting by the sidewalks in the old Mar Mikhael district of Beirut have an idea where to locate the Brasserie du Levant. We had to ask around for at least 30 minutes until we got there. The event truly served a purpose! Lots of people residing there now are aware of the existence of a neglected Lebanese beer brewery.
The building itself was both intriguing and eerie. Leftovers of whoever lived there before or maybe after the Lebanese civil war were scattered around some rooms, a musty stench, as well as background music of the old movies that were showing on the first floor.
The event consisted of 2 audio-visual installations by the aforementioned duo starting 6:00 pm, a site specific performance by Daniel Balabane, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, followed by the KINO Vendôme Salle 3, which recreated the experience on the rooftop terrace of the old brewery.
Without further ado, here are some pictures from the event: