Frame from Ma’arad Trablous [The Exhibition of Tripoli], 2016
Alia Farid works in a hybrid field between art and architecture, encouraging critical thinking about urban spaces. Her projects are manifested in the form of interventions, videos and installations. For the 32nd Bienal, the artist produced a video on the constructions of the Rashid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, Lebanon (1963), which was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who also designed some of the Ibirapuera Park’s buildings on the occasion of São Paulo’s 4th centennial. Both are projects of great proportions made for gatherings and public use. However, the history of each city resulted in very different developments. The park is known as one of the major cultural and leisure venues in São Paulo, whereas the fair in Tripoli had its construction interrupted in 1975 due to financial problems and the onset of the Lebanese Civil War, which lasted until 1990. In a perpetual state of ruin, these structures have housed ammunition, militias, and refugees and are used for concerts and as a recreational space. Farid’s film, Ma’arad Trablous [The Exhibition of Tripoli] (2016), addresses the adaptation, translation, and uses of architectural concepts for distinct geographic regions and how these constructions perform in different cultural, social and political circumstances.