Moving Forward Standing Still

7 commentsArtists

We can be mar­su­pi­als.

Like many expres­sions, the word “tal­ent­ed” has lost its mean­ing. After see­ing it tossed around left and right at idiots like the boys and girls on TV who shake their butts to 3 min­utes of noise and lip-sync­ing, I’ve all but dropped it from my vocab­u­lary, espe­cial­ly when it comes to peo­ple I admire and respect.

Loryne Atoui is one to watch.

So it is with some trep­i­da­tion that I use it to describe my friend Loryne, who is not only “that-which-shall-not-be-named” (no not Voldemort), but I’d even attach the pre­fix “mul­ti-” to it. Plus she has the most amaz­ing set of curls since Charlize Theron in The Devil’s Advocate, before she went all nuts (Charlize not Loryne).

Over the past months I’ve spot­ted those springy, hay­wire, mis­chie­vous curls at media sem­i­nars, adver­tis­ing work­shops, char­i­ty events, art shows, and most recent­ly pho­to exhi­bi­tions. And like the head they’re attached to, they nev­er cease to impress me (عجبني راسك مان).

Lollyno’s lat­est project is osten­si­bly called Moving Forward Standing Still, a pho­tog­ra­phy exhi­bi­tion set to the theme of tra­di­tion ver­sus moder­ni­ty. The pho­tographs are decep­tive­ly sim­ple: a series of close­ups, envi­ron­men­tal por­traits, and some objets trou­vés tak­en by Loryne over the past year in places rang­ing from Lebanon to Kathmandu, brought togeth­er by her curi­ous lens and the effect of that curios­i­ty on her sub­jects.

These bicyles are going nowhere.

What sets Loryne apart is not tech­nique (many emerg­ing local and inter­na­tion­al pho­tog­ra­phers astound us with that but lit­tle else) though she has that in spades. Nor is it top­i­cal­i­ty (news-gath­er­ers have the monop­oly on that) though her images of dilap­i­dat­ed Saida hous­es and their young inhab­i­tants are a per­fect exam­ple of the ancient city’s cur­rent strug­gles with mod­ern­iza­tion.

In fact, Loryne’s pho­tog­ra­phy is so sim­ple and unpre­ten­tious that we might be delud­ed into think­ing “Hey, I can do that!” — until we find in it the ingre­di­ent most lack­ing in today’s images: Heart.

Moving Forward Standing Still • Photo exhib­it by Loryne Atoui

At Café de Prague in Beirut through the month of May.

And if you’re not for­tu­nate enough to live in the Greatest City on Earth (hey it’s my blog so I’m allow­ing myself some hyper­bole), check out her pho­to­stream on Flickr or fol­low her on Twitter @LoryneAtoui.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Samsam May 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Lollyne I'm your biggest fan! Byerja3 meedo! :)
<3

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Meedo May 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Meedo Samsam same same.

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Samsam May 11, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I love the photos, and the text!!!

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Corinne May 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I can't wait to see this!!!

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Loryne May 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I keep re-reading this, thinking: hey - that can't be me he's writing about.. :-)
Thanks a million for such a wonderful description of the exhibit and for your support of my photography. Yalla, this should be a push for you to exhibit your awesome pics ;-)

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Meedo May 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

You're most welcome Lollyno, though I should point out that here at meedosite "we" (haha, I) only write what we genuinely believe. Stick to your guns and we all can't wait to see what you do next. x

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Mirella McCracken May 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm

You go girl!!! Good luck Loryne!

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