Conspiracy of Silence • 2020

2019–2020 A year of confinement where Greta Naufal starts a diary penning thoughts in Arabic on a leporello. August 2020, the diary becomes a more poignant journal recording the post-traumatic experience following the blast at the port of Beirut. Messages and book excerpts from authors start to populate the pages and overlaps ink drawings and textures made of stamps and imprints of gauze. The book becomes like a fresco breaking boundaries between the personal and the collective experience. Pascal Odile transforms it into an installation where the narrative unfolds on a surface of broken glass.

Installation part of ‘Beirut Year Zero’ at ArtHaus • Display by Pascal Odile

Women in Time • 2018

Portrait drawings of women who have impacted the artist’s artistic journey and who have played a constructive role in the  society and culture in the Middle East are animated and projected in one of the rooms at the Theater Al Madina in Beirut. Yvette Achkar, Janine Rubeiz, Etel Adnan, Mona Hallak among many others come together in a motion narrative built around a oud composition by George Naufal Sawaya.

Installation at Madina Theater, Beirut, 2015

Music by George Naufal Sawaya

Video editing by Samar Mogharbel

Curated by Nidal Al Achkar and Mona Knio

Thread of Life • 2017

The artist’s father George Naufal Sawaya leaves behind him a musical legacy saved on hundreds of tape recordings and notation sheets. Some tapes have bird songs on them, others original compositions or other archival material from the collection of the late oud composer. 92 tapes symbolizing his age, are unwinded and woven into a tapestry of music recollections or a blanket of memories.

The installation was part of the exhibition ‘Partition Inachevée / Incomplete Partition’ held at Galerie Janine Rubeiz in 2017.

Curated by Nadine Majdalani Begdache

Irony • 2009–2018

“Irony” is one of Greta Naufal’s experimental video-art installations denouncing the violence of wars and mass media images. The artist writes: “This video is about war spreading from one country to another in the Middle East. Only by the will of the mothers, war will end!”

Video editing by Samar Mogharbel

This installation has been exhibited as part of exhibitions at the Lebanese American University in Lebanon, at the Kulturehuset in Sweden and at the Douananerz Festival in France.

Difficulté de Partir / Nécessité de Quitter • 2007

The necessity of going / the difficulty of leaving’
Collected suitcases painted in white with stenciled messages, piled then moved then fixed in place, filled with stones impossible to lift, filled with dreams impossible to live in Beirut. Daily Star (16 June 2007): “The open room in the Goethe Institute where the suitcases are displayed resembles an airport, while the closed-circuit television screen that transmits images of the installation’s viewers in the work itself represents the surveillance we are subjected to an age of fear. Naufal, in conceiving the piece, specifically asked the Goethe staff to clear out the room to heighten the sense of alienation.”

Video installation and performance at Goethe Institut Beirut
Exhibition and installation by Greta Naufal
Video in collaboration with Samar Mogharbel and Anne de Mo
Greta Naufal invites artists to participate in the event
Concert by Arthur Satyan Trio
Performance by Lina Abyad and May Haddad Ogden-Smith
Lectures by Nagi Souraty and Nasri Sayegh

Reading Room • 2002

Collected newspapers become the canvas of mixed media artworks, page after page. Together on display for visitors to flip through them, they re-create the space of a reading room in an imagined library. Once opened, these pages are covered with portraits, some of writers and thinkers who have shaped modern society. Albert Camus and André Malraux engage us in the intellectual or existential process of thinking life through the daily activity of newspaper reading. Some newspapers are dedicated to anonymous figures in action borrowed from everyday life where the newspaper surface becomes like a mirror. Others bring together jazz musicians in a concert.

Installation at Benassi Gallery, Stockholm

Artists in Ruins • 1993

Arguably the first installation in Beirut on the theme of the civil war, a direct intervention on the devastated city. Greta Naufal takes all her piled newspapers and goes to St. George’s Cathedral, the prints are used to cover the broken walls in an attempt to heal them. Messages of hope overlap the new walls in a conscious expression similar to street art today. Large scrolls of paper hang and drop from the upper galleries, they carry collages and hand writings. At night, candles are distributed across the space, a live performance and a projection of the artworks she had produced in the underground shelter of her house between 1989 and 1992.

Installation at St. George Cathedral, Beirut in collaboration with Imad Issa

Video documentation by Majid Kassir and ZDF Television