The Arab British Centre and Dongola Limited Editions are pleased to invite you to the UK book launch and photograph display of
The Distance is Always Other, a collaborative photography artist
book by British photographer Chris Coekin and Lebanese
photographer Noel Nasr, with text in English and Arabic by Lebanese author and poet Fadi Tofeili.
The book, published by Dongola Limited Editions, Beirut, and designed by renowned Iranian graphic designer Reza Abedini, is an artistic
exploration, grounded in archival documentation, highlighting socio-geographical transformations in Lebanon over the past forty years.
The Distance is Always Other began with the appropriation and
subsequent investigation of a unique stereoscopic photographic archive. Originally produced in 1973 the photographs were taken by two elderly
American tourists identified only as ‘Bob and Ann’. The archive
comprises vernacular images capturing the Lebanese landscape through various prisms: urban, domestic and exotic, revealing a country on the
brink of civil war. Chris Coekin uncovered the archive online in 2016. In
collaboration with Noel Nasr they painstakingly pieced together the
original route. Assuming the role of geographical investigators they
traced the footsteps of the tourists, revisiting the same locations
photographed in 1973, attempting to replicate their identical visual
perspective. Mimicking the mechanisms of the stereo camera’s dual
lenses, Coekin and Nasr each used vintage fixed lens analogue cameras to capture their ‘out of sync’ simultaneous moments. The two resulting
photographs were then overlaid to form one single image creating
unstable images, representing the trajectory of Lebanon’s history after
forty years of destruction and reconstruction.
Open for three days only, this free event showcases
The Distance is Always Other artist book alongside a selection of
photographs from the book and the 1970’s stereoscopic archival
Joined by Abed AlKadiri, co-founder of Dongola Limited Editions,
the artists will also be in conversation on Thursday 6 December
discussing their collaborative project and the resulting artist book.
This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from the artists first-hand about
this fascinating project, from Coekin’s discovery of ‘Bob and Ann’s’
archive of discarded images, to their own journey across Lebanon,
retracing the steps of the American tourists four decades later.
RSVP for the Artists Talk on Eventbrite here.
Find out more about the book here.
We hope to see you at the launch! Please do come along and experience this poignant and playful artists book for the first time in the UK.