Appendix XVIII: plates 63-257

2008 - 2012

The Lebanese wars of the past three decades affected Lebanon's residents physically and psychologically: from the 100,000-plus who were killed; to the 200,000-plus who were wounded; to the 1,000,000-plus who were displaced; to the even more who were psychologically traumatized.

It is clear to me today that these wars also affected colors, lines, shapes, and forms. Some of these were affected in a material way, and, like burned books or razed monuments, were physically destroyed and lost forever; others, like looted treasure or politically compromised artworks , remain physically intact but are removed from view, possibly never to be seen again. And yet other colors, lines, shapes, and forms, sensing the forthcoming danger, have deployed defensive measures: they hide, take refuge, hibernate, camouflage, and/or dissimulate.

I expected them to do so in the artworks of past artists, whose paintings and sculptures would be their most hospitable hosts. I was wrong. Instead, colors, lines, shapes, and forms took refuge in unexpected places: they hid in Roman and Arabic letters and numbers; in circles, rectangles, and squares; in yellow, blue, and green. They dissimulated as fonts, covers, titles, and indices; as the graphic lines and footnotes of books; they camouflaged themselves as letters, price lists, dissertations, and catalogues; as diagrams and budgets. They hibernated not in but around artworks.

 

These are the colors, lines, shapes, and forms that compose the plates below.