'The Return' is an immersive installation by artist Rayyane Tabet currently on view at the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut, Lebanon. The exhibitio
‘The Return’ is an immersive installation by artist Rayyane Tabet currently on view at the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut, Lebanon. The exhibition explores the journey of a marble sculpture known as the ‘Bull’s Head,’ which was unearthed in Saida in 1967. The installation is divided into eight chapters that reconstruct the sculpture’s path over time, drawing from a variety of historical documents.
The ‘Bull’s Head’ is an ancient artifact dating back to 360 B.C. It was discovered during the excavation of the temple of Eshmun in Saida and is currently housed in the National Museum in Beirut. In Tabet’s installation, the sculpture is not physically present but is represented through enlarged photographs displayed on free-standing walls within the gallery space. These photographs create a surreal blue haze, adding to the immersive experience.
Rayyane Tabet utilizes a range of historical materials such as photographs, inventories, shipping documents, and court papers to piece together the narrative of the sculpture’s origins and travels. The story spans several decades, taking the sculpture from Saida to Byblos, Colorado, and finally back to Lebanon through a process of restitution.
‘The Return’ exhibition is open for viewing until June 17, 2023, at the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the historical context and the complex journey of the ‘Bull’s Head’ sculpture through an immersive and thought-provoking installation.