Born in 1975 in Lebanon, Mazen Kerbaj is a musician, writer and illustrator based in Berlin. He has published 15 books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers and magazines in Lebanon, Europe, and the USA. His work has been translated to more than 10 languages.
In 2009, Kerbaj won an award from the Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon, for a work in which he collaborated with Laure Ghorayeb.
He has participated in several solo and collective exhibitions in Lebanon and internationally among them “Rebirth” at the Beirut Exhibition Center in 2011. In Beirut, he has shown his work at Galerie Janine Rubeiz with his mother Laure Ghorayeb, where his work is permanently exhibited. Most recently, Kerbaj and Ghorayeb have held “Correspondances”, an exhibition that took place at the Sursock Museum in 2019.
About his work:
Working independently of a canon, in the manner of Arte Povera, can prove a risky operation Achieving the transition from text to place, in a context where narrative is constantly interrupted by conflict and war is where Mazen Kerbaj deploys strategies, sometimes lyrical, sometimes literary, sometimes comic, and even performances, placing himself and his world as a laboratory survey.
There is no reproduction but the production of realities that have been broken, disappeared or discarded.
In this process of recollection, the artist is locating referents that have gone missing while pointing at them simultaneously.
His celebrated notebooks are travelogues of an immense personal quest to map a concrete territory of history and memory in the moment of its ruthless disappearance.
Volatiles memories and images make up the repository of reality under a condition always fragmented and temporary. As histories traditionally weave the tissue of the past, it is Kerbaj's mission in his work to develop and fine-tune basic units - of thought, time, speech - to encircle the political borders of the present before its implosion into an infinite expanse of confusion and obsessive repetition.