|Vernissage le mercredi 16 mars 2011|
Ouverture du 16 mars au 19 mars 2011
|Reclaim, the artist book, 350 images, unique|
(backing up the whole Reclaim project, the totality of the research)
Camille Zakharia’s work was part of the project “Reclaim,” the Bahraini pavilion that won the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale’s Golden Lion. Zakharia’s portfolio, a “Coastal Promenade,” is a testimony to the variety of coastal landscapes and how fishermen in Bahrain decided to reclaim such areas, which had undergone dramatic transformation in the last few years.
The images self-analyse the nation’s relationship with its rapidly changing coastline in a thoroughly wholesome way, investigating the island of Barhain’s decline in sea culture. Far from embracing some kind of desperate fatalism when faced with the large-scale urbanisation of the region, he instead shows how people rebuilt their relationship with the ocean on a small-scale and at a human pace, reminiscent of their “rural” roots and re-possessing the natural landscape.
The strength of the work is encapsulated in its systematic perseverance. The square proportions, the frontal views and the bright light admirably captured by his camera create exhilarating yet thoughtful works.
The authors of the Bahraini pavilion (architect Harry Gugger and curators Noura Al Sayeh, Dr. Fuad Al Ansari and Leopold Banchini) state: “It was our ambition to create a pleasant and intriguing place where people would naturally want to hang out and rest and where they eventually would get informed effortlessly on a fundamental topic of Bahrain’s culture and heritage: the crucial but vulnerable relationship with the sea. (...) We hoped that with this concept we could engage with the possibly vague but highly ambitious theme of this year’s Biennale: “People meet in Architecture,” which was proposed by exhibition director Kazuyo Sejima.”