The Climate Crisis on the Lebanese Landscape – Ziad Suidan

In Vanessa Gemayel’s last two shows, the vanishing landscapes of Lebanon are put front and center as due to the contradictions of urban development. In “They Have Hidden the Sea from Me,” the disappearance of the sea and its coastline is made present by the seemingly diverse forms of urban development taking place. In this collection, it is the constellation of the exhibit’s title that works conjointly and in ironic disjuncture with both post-modern style, and the color palette that depicts the climate crisis in Lebanon. In this collection “The City Screams,” Vanessa’s artwork is not forgetting about the sea. But rather than horizons and horizontal emplotment played through ironic discord, a synchronous emplotment strikes an abyss that has come out of Lebanon’s contradictory urban development. That abyss is a signal that the glaring contradictions of urban development were perhaps the first obvious and visible sign of climate crisis. But it was not its first sign. Lebanon’s landscapes are always-already in the whirlpool of the abyss.