Akram Zaatari was born 1966 in Saida, South Lebanon; he lives and works in Beirut. Akram Zaatari has produced more than fifty films and videos, a dozen books, and countless installations of photographic material, all sharing an interest in writing histories, pursuing a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted left, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. Zaatari has played a critical role in developing the formal, intellectual, and institutional infrastructure of Beirut's contemporary art scene. He was one of a handful of young artists who emerged from the delirious but short-lived era of experimentation in Lebanon's television industry, which became radically reorganized after the country's civil war. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, a ground-breaking, artist-driven organization devoted to the research and study of photography in the Arab world, he has made invaluable and uncompromising contributions to the wider discourse on preservation and archival practice.
Recent exhibitions include: Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2019); The Script, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, England (2018); The Fold, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati OH (2018); Letter to a Refusing Pilot, Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden (2018); Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation, MACBA, Barcelona, Spain; travelling to: K21, Dusseldorf, Germany; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (2017); Double Take: Akram Zaatari and the Arab Image Foundation, National Portrait Gallery, London, England (2017); This Day at Ten, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland (2016); Unfolding, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2015); Akram Zaatari: The End of Time, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2014); Lebanese Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2013); Projects 100: Akram Zaatari, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); This Day at Ten / Aujourd’hui à 10, Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2013); Tomorrow Everything Will be Alright, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, US (2012); The Uneasy Subject, MUAC, Mexico (2012); Museeo de Art Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Spain (2011).
Zaatari has participated in institutional group exhibitions including: The New Museum, New York NY (2014); The Centre de la Photographie, Geneva, Switzerland (2013); The Kadist Foundation, Paris, France (2012); Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Netherlands (2010); Kunstverein München (2009); La CaixaForum, Barcelona, Spain (2006); Portikus Frankfurt, Germany (2004); De Appel Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2002).
Additionally, his work has been part of the 14th Istanbul Biennal, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); The Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan (2014); The 55th and 52nd Biennle di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2013 and 2007); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 27th Sao Paulo Biennal, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2006); the 6thGwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2006) and the 15th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2006).
Akram Zaatari’s work is included in the collections of MUSAC, León, Spain; Louis Vuitton, Paris, France; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol, England; Tate, Modern London, England; MCA Chicago, Chicago, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, US.