Frederic Lezmi  Beyond Borders from Vienna to Beirut

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Searching for the border between Europe and the Orient.

In my series »Beyond Borders« I have been searching for the ‘in between’ – whatever lies geographically as well as culturally between my world in the midst of Europe and my long term focus of interest in the Middle and Near East. From August to December 2008 I was „en route” between Vienna and Beirut. The pictures from my trip represent neither precise documents nor do they create artistic worlds. They rather mean to be constructions of multicolored, fragmented impressions, like looking through a kaleidoscope. I often show architectural monuments, including the social life taking place within, in various superimposed layers and conditions. Through reflections and fragmentations within the images, the viewer’s eye is being multiplied, inverted and divided in order to put on trial and call in question the perception of cultural differences and their importance for the “present” and the “past” of our society.

My pictures reveal an ambivalent point of view beyond the current clichés. They exceed the very essence and value of existing borderlines and are looking for new perspectives within. In my photographs, the Orient and the Occident are being overlaid and perpetrated, and as such turn out to serve as a visual hinge and an interface between these multi-faceted worlds where the space between East and West is either expanded or reduced.

Where is the end of the West and where does Orient begin?

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All images: courtesy Frederic Lezmi

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