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Biographie | Ninar Esber

Monday 4 August 2008

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Ninar ESBER was born in 1971 in Beirut, Lebanon. A writer and an artist, she lives and works in Paris and Beirut.

Ninar left Lebanon with her family in 1986, to settle in France. Between 1995 and 2000, she studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts of Paris-Cergy, where she obtained her diploma.

In 2000, she started elaborating performances and videos which involved her body extensively, albeit with a certain slowness, at times even stillness. Here, the concepts of suspension and teasing find themselves confronted with architecture (walls, towers, and promontories), daily objects (tables, chairs), and contemporary mythologies (superheroes, popular singers and actors, pin-up girls…). Performance plays a decisive role in her videos (scenes are shot in real time, they are not subject to any editing, and each scene consists of one performance completed in a single take).

Between 2002 and 2006, Ninar recorded a video-diary, based on one-minute filmed sequences, from which were culled the following: 1 mn in Bangkok (2003), and 1 mn in Beirut (2005). A way for her to inscribe her work in the present, since she had to film one minute each day, regardless of time or subject.

In 2006, she put together the concept of a female superhero, named FEMALE. Female is a feminist demon warrior. One can keep track of her adventures by way of paintings, videos, and performances. In parallel, Ninar started reflecting, as early as 2002, on the “reduction” of shapes, concepts, and space. An example of this would be her piece Colors (2003), where she added the colors of each state flag to finally obtain a monochrome, thus eliminating any shape or trace of ethnic, political and of course nationalistic symbolism. Another example is the piece La Marseillaise (2010), where she reduces the text of the “La Marseillaise” anthem to a simple equation.

Ninar published Leil Al Awal with Editions Nahar, Beirut, in 2001, and Conversations avec Adonis mon père, with Editions du Seuil, Paris, in 2006.

* Listen "Ana Bade Inhab Minnak" on RADIOapartment22.