Zaatari’s practice involves unearthing, collecting and re-contextualizing documents that represent his country’s complex history. Through his investigations, viewers become witness to powerful accounts of a period marked by the violence and disorientation of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). The works in this exhibition allow us to glimpse what has been concealed from view: letters written in code passed through censors, instantaneous chats between lovers presented as a letter, and reassuring letters enclosed within mortar casings.

As the co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, Zaatari has intimate experience with the precarious status of archives in times of war as well as the limits of any archive’s ability to fully capture historical events. The most recent project in this exhibition, Time Capsule Kassel, sends documents into the earth for their safety and also to propose that we delay answering until a future moment.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the Ontario Arts Council’s program for Culturally Diverse Curatorial Projects; the Kingston Arts Council; the City of Kingston; and the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, Queen’s University.