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Seta Manoukian: Painting in Levitation


Born in Lebanon in 1945, Seta Manoukian is a painter. Her early drawings reveal a sense of composition, a strong artistic hand and an original talent. She was teaching at Lebanese University when the Civil War began in 1975. After 10 years of war in Lebanon she had to flee, to LA defeated by war, where she still lives today, as a Buddhist nun.

This publication looks back at Manoukian’s work, focusing on the 70s and 80s periods of her practice. It includes essays by Gregory Buchakjian, Kristine Khouri and Aline Manoukian.

Co-published as part of the Saradar Collection x Kaph Books series.

About the Authors

Gregory Buchakjian

Gregory BUCHAKJIAN (b.1971, Lebanon) is an art historian and interdisciplinary artist, as well as the director of the School of Visual Arts at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA). His research is largely based on archive, archaeology and narration, including his Ph.D. dissertation at the Sorbonne (2016), the book Abandoned Dwellings, A History of Beirut (Beirut, Kaph Books: 2018, Valerie Cachard, ed.) and the exhibitions Abandoned Dwellings, Display of Systems (Beirut, Sursock Museum, 2018 curated by Karina El Helou) and Abandoned Dwellings of Beirut (Brussels, Villa Empain, 2019). In 2018, he contributed to the first Lebanese pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Works on Paper accompanying Karina El Helou's Cycles of Collapsing Progress in Oscar Niemeyer's Tripoli International Fair. In 2019, he co-organized the 2nd Alba Cinema Encounters “Filming in Times of War, 1975-1990” for which he produced the installation Where do Filmmakers go? In 2021, he created with Valérie Cachard and Sary Moussa the video Agenda 1979 for Opera National du Rhin and the installation Hercules and Omphale for the exhibition How will it end? (Curated by Alicia Knock and Louma Salamé) based on a painting he attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi.

Kristine Khouri

Kristine Khouri is an independent researcher and writer whose interests focus on the history of arts circulation and infrastructure in the Arab world, and archival practices and dissemination. Together with Rasha Salti, she has co-curated Past Disquiet: Narratives and Ghosts of the International Art Exhibition for Palestine, 1978 shown at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2015), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2016), and at the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago (2018). Khouri also curated The Founding Years (1969–1973): A selection of works from the Sultan Gallery Archives at the Sultan Gallery, Kuwait (2012). Kristine has contributed to numerous publications and was a section editor for the publication accompanying the exhibition Time is Out of Joint (Sharjah Art Foundation, 2016). She is a member of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut.

Aline Manoukian

Aline Manoukian studied the history of photography in California. In 1983, she covered the Lebanese conflict, as a photojournalist for the Lebanese daily newspaper the Daily Star. In 1985, she joined Reuters news agency and later became head of the photo department, managing a group of staff and stringers, while covering the Lebanese conflict. In 1989, she moved to Paris, where she continued her career as a photographer and later as a picture editor. From 2010 to 2013, she was president of the French photo-editors' association ANI. In 2017, she became director of the newly established non-profit organisation Beirut Center of Photography, dedicated to promoting quality photography in Lebanon.

Technical Details

Publication Date:
Thursday, March 7, 2019
English / Arabic
Number of Pages:
Kaph Books
The Arts

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