Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation

7 April — 25 September 2017

Akram Zaatari (Saida, Lebanon, 1966) co-founded the Arab Image Foundation (AIF) in 1997, partly to contain the activity of collecting, but also to organise it within an institutional framework and give it form through an expanding collection, which itself is a result of multiple modes of acquisition. More than a repository of photographic documents, the strength and originality of the AIF lies in the critical intersection of two archival practices, institutional and artistic. Over the past twenty years, the AIF was the medium through which many of Zaatari’s projects and interests were developed. This exhibition traces Zaatari’s multi-faceted contributions to expanding our understanding of photography through a reflection on the evolution of the AIF and its collection. It can be seen as the outcome of an excavation that addresses the institution as a whole, extending to specific collections and photographic objects that might carry traces of wear and sometimes violence.