In Focus
On Three Posters 2004 by Rabih Mroué

ISBN 978-1-84976-390-5
Detail of video still of Rabih Mroué's On Three Posters 2004
Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut

On Three Posters 2004 by Rabih Mroué

Rabih Mroué’s On Three Posters is a seventeen-minute, single-channel colour video with sound. Made in 2004, it originated from a multi-media performance called Three Posters, conceived and staged by Mroué and the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury, and first performed in Beirut in 2000.
The performance centred on an unedited tape made by Jamal al-Sati, a fighter for Lebanon’s National Resistance Front. This shows three ‘takes’ of his martyr testimony rather than the approved version that was aired on Lebanese television. The three ‘takes’ allowed Mroué and Khoury to question the status of suicide videos and martyr posters, and to examine the ideological circumstances surrounding their production and place within the visual culture and political history of Lebanon.
This project considers how the video On Three Posters advances the intellectual and creative production of the earlier performance. It explores the significance of the work in relation to the image politics of the Lebanese Left during the nation’s protracted conflicts, and the ways in which contemporary artists in Lebanon have addressed the individual and collective traumas of the past and their reverberations in the present
Published in February 2014, the project is authored by Dr Chad Elias (University of York) and includes interviews with the artist Rabih Mroué and the critic and theorist Boris Groys.