Video installation
1 channel video, microphone on tripod, TV monitor, security camera
In collaboration with Cynthia Zaven
Commissioned by the Swiss Arts Council (Pro Helvetia) to premiere at Schlachthaus Theater – Bern, Switzerland


In tracing the frontiers of Lebanon, Karaoke attempts to map and remap the consciousness of national identity and self-consciousness of art as political. Negotiating continuous road shots of borders to the looping sound of the Lebanese national anthem, the video installation invites the spectator to participate in performing the anthem – by becoming a citizen while observing the border posts. Marking territory with nationalism, and taking into consideration the fluidity of national boundaries in contemporary Lebanese history, Karaoke falsifies the modicum of national identity, purges the signifiers of the anthem by contrasting them against the images of the punctuated borders, and finally realizes itself as art and artist within boundaries of nation and state. By way of saturating Karaoke with political subject-matter, the artists propose to shed the consciousness of being a national, by reiterating an incriminating contrast through image and sound of the myth of nations and their relation to territories, Karaoke attempts to decode national identity in the politics of art. (Vatché Boulghourjian)