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Zena Assi (Lebanese, b. 1974)
Zena Assi (Lebanese, b. 1974)

Ya Beirut, ya setadouniah #1,2,3,4 (Oh Beirut, Oh Lady of the Universe #1,2,3,4)

Zena Assi (Lebanese, b. 1974)
Ya Beirut, ya setadouniah #1,2,3,4 (Oh Beirut, Oh Lady of the Universe #1,2,3,4)
each: signed 'ZENA ASSI' (lower left); signed, titled and dated 'ZENA ASSI 'Ya Beirut ya setadouniah' 2012' (on the reverse)
mixed media and collage on canvas, in four parts
each: 65 x 53 1/8in. (165 x 135cm.);
overall: 65 x 212 5/8in. (165 x 540cm.)
Executed in 2012 (4)
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.

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Lot Essay

For decades, Lebanon has been regarded as one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the Middle East and its capital, Beirut, is often praised as a cultural, social and ethnical melting pot - often referred to as the Lady of the Universe. Unfortunately, parallel to these developments, Beirut was plighted by local conflicts, namely civil war, hostile confrontation and neighbouring clashes. In Ya Beirut, ya setadouniah, Lebanese artist Zena Assi represents four pregnant women as the city of Beirut; a city eternally searching for its own personal identity, pregnant with hope and potential that she remains unborn.
In this delicate state of pregnancy, torn between flimsiness and the strength of carrying a new life, these women are torn in two; on the one hand standing proud, clinging to life and in the other heavily bound by the stress and strenuousness of carrying such responsibility. In doing so, she metaphorically represents Beirut in its present tense, yet hopeful, state.

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