June 20th 2023 – September 17th 2023
Dia Mrad (b. 1991) is a Lebanese visual artist working in the field of photography. He lives and works in Beirut.
Mrad graduated in 2017 with a Master`s degree in Architecture. Soon after, he started using a mix of photography and academic formation to decipher Beirut`s built environment, a subject that intrigued him. He employed strategies he had learned and practiced to produce a fresh perspective on informed / informative architectural photography and visual storytelling.
In 2017 Mrad relocated outside of Beirut and went on an extended trip around Europe.Being away from the city offered perspective and time to reflect. Mrad returned to Beirut in 2019 with an idea that would set the tone for his future work: that Beirut`s unique mix of architectural styles woven between layers of history was so particular yet so neglected, a forgotten treasure that needed to be uncovered. This turning point led to working on a systematic photographic archive of Beirut, and imprint of the city and architecture.
Through his work, Mrad captures the shifting urban environment from aesthetic, social, economic and cultural perspectives. Focusing largely on Beirut, he portrays building as silent witnesses alluding to themes of identity and its transience. He applies the same documentary approach as he visits other sites around the globe as a way to decipher and uncover hidden narratives of human activity.
BELGRADE – A photographic study of the ways in which architecture mirrors the historical circumstances of a city of Belgrade and the culture of its inhabitants.
How can we read a city through its built environment?
Architecture has always served as a powerful tool of influence; a concrete demonstration of abstract ideas and ideologies. It is a physical manifestation of society, a mirror of what a nation is going through, its past, and what it hopes to become.
Serbia`s history is one full of conflicts and prosperity. The capital Belgrade has been a witness to all of these ups and downs, where destruction and redevelopment have dominated its landscape for centuries.
Through informed documentation of Belgrade`s architectural legacy, this study aims to uncover the stories of the city and its people by tracing different styles and changes in building technologies. Specifically, this study tracks the mid-century post war architecture and the development of the Brutalist style – a branch of Modernism that Belgrade is known for.