In April 2009, Kiki presented “72 hrs”, an immersive art event, which was the biggest artistic challenge she has yet foregone. She painted for 72 consecutive hours, without sleep, confined behind a glass curtain, while the performance was broadcasted live on HD screens and on the web and could be watched directly on the steps of the notoriously arty St. Nicholas stairs in Beirut.
While Lebanon was and is still undergoing daily political conflicts and was on the verge of crucial elections, auspiciously, “72 hrs” managed to outweigh these overshadowing circumstances by projecting on a worldwide level the image of Lebanon as a country bursting with art and culture, rather than only being branded for its political instability.
In fact, more than 60 worldwide news agencies, newspapers, and TV stations (AFP, Reuters, CNN, TV5, BBC, France 24, USA Today, Newsweek…) covered the event in their news section and the reports were spread and translated in all continents and in lots of languages. This amazing worldwide interest in this project was, honestly, even greater of our initial hopes and it brought to our attention the historic importance of individual initiatives in shaping the world’s sensitivity about Lebanon.
THE 72 Hrs FOOD MENU Offered by Bread Republic
Friday 24 Lunch 12 pm Organic salad, mousakhan djej, muffin chocs, orange cake Friday 24 Dinner 9 pm Mushroom and artichaud Rizzoto Saturday 25 Breakfast 9 am Mushroom, bacon, cheddar cheese omelette Pane forte (power bars) Orange juice Saturday 25 Lunch 1 pm Organic salad, beef burger Saturday 25Dinner 9 pm Penne shrimp with gorgonzola Sunday 26 Breakfast 9 am Croissants divers, fan forte, orange juice Sunday 26 Lunch 12 pm Sautee mushroom, brie, roast beef sandwich Sunday 26 Dinner 9 pm Risotto nero, chicken, wild mushroom Monday 27 Breakfast 9 am Foccacia zaatar, cinnamon rolls, orange juice.
THE 72-Hrs SURVIVAL KIT
This survival kit contains the essential things that I will need to live and paint for 3 days:
Bottled water (3 gallons per person), Organic food, energy food bars, orange juice and birthday cake (offered by Bread Republic) , Coffee, Plastic plates and utensils, Flashlight, spare batteries, First aid kit, Emergency medical book, Practical clothing (old jeans, t-shirts, apron, socks, etc), Latex Gloves, Paint , Fire extinguisher, Electrical kettle, Tissues, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes, personal care kit, Blanket, fan, Hair dryer, Paper and pen, Laptop, webcam, video camera. No cell phones.
No entrance or exit allowed (the gallery’s door will be replaced by a window), the daily food menu will be given through the gallery’s second floor window in a basket suspended by a cord.
Posts First Day: April 24, 2009 Day time
List of items: Socks, jeans, coffee mug, breathing masks, gloves, apron, basket, garbage can, long sleeves t-shirt, pants (10:23 am)
Afternoonish air: My mom is outside the window, the smell of undercoat is killing me i dunno how I’ll handle the next couple of days. I’ve been hearing there’s a problem with the internet connection. Welcome to Lebanon! Art is running smoothly so far, small issues are getting in the way but I’mgoing to try and solve them out. Elton John music is playing and the fan is on. The only 5 cm opening above the window glass are letting fresh air through. (10:25 am)
Politesse!! Bon je suisunefillepolied’habitude, en general maismnt je n’enpeux plus, je n’ai pas pisser depuis 5 heure du mat>>ilest temps je quitte tout et je rentre aux WC. SorryFady for this inconvenience. Everybodyi’ll be back to paint after a few secs. (10:26 am)
First time today the WC! This happened a few minsago..it feels good. Next, i donno how i will reach the ceiling next to paint it..someone carry me plsss..unfortunately no one can come in. Thank you all for being in this artistic journey with me. (11:09 am)
Webcam is on! You can now check out the live feed from the event online. Just click on livecam to the right! (2:30 pm)
Past midnight Hey there!! Stayawake cause i will be there all night, painting and i need your company. It’s been more than 12 hours since I’m painting, i can’t feel my fingers anymore. Thanks to all that are here, i appreciate your support, from the heart and wish to see you until the 72 hrs are over. My only breaks are when i write. I love u. Tell me how the evolution is going (artwork wise), for those of you who have followed since the start. (4:32 pm) Night time
Hey all I’m glad some of u are still awake, you’re keeping me going, so is the music. When i think that only fourteen hours have passed.mmmmmmm!! I’mmore than glad u like the work! (5:48 pm)
Hello everybody! I’m fine so far although i feel as if i have left Beirut. It’s calm now all the reporters are gone except for two lady photographers, taking pics. I’m eating my lunch: a chicken sandwich stuffed with onions, I’m eager to go back to painting. i will get back to you later. Thank you all for the support. (6:28 pm)
1st insomnia It feels so good to read your posts and feel your presence. I’m also happy of my results, and piet to answer your question yes I’ll do your cd cover and it might take secs or a lifetime no one can know. I’m starting to feel dizzy but still managing to get on the ladder. I’m very sensitive to sounds, I’m shaking, I’m cold, i guess it’s normal considering I’ve been rarely stopping for a rest. The music playing on the radio is giving me lots of punch, now It’s daddy cool……good morning beirut!! (7:28 pm)
While you’re asleep i changed my jeans, washed my hands and went up to look for a new pair of pants in which i could feel more comfortable. Only a while ago have the last viewer left, after shooting pictures for more than an hour, while I, was painting the ceiling. I’m looking forwardd to continue painting. i will come back when u wake up. Have sweet dreams. (8:52 pm)
Jm i love you son! That project is dedicated to you, me, and to all the people that believe in this peaceful form of expression called “art”. Wake up every one! Thank you Raphael for bringing me chocolate ate 6 am, for breakfast. I’ll take a break soon to take a bite! i must admit it wasn’t easy at all to resist to the temptation of sleeping, i wonder how i will do it tonight too. To know more, stay tuned. Btw the electricity went off at some point; i apologize on behalf of the government for the interruption. My legs are aching. if anyone is passing by today I’d appreciate it if she or he could bring me a music cd of their choice. As for the cold i think I’ll need a warm blanket for Sunday. (11:47 pm)
Time for reflection I’m getting flashbacks from time to time. pictures of past experiences emerge out of the colours. It’s an exceptional way to celebrate a new year i must admit. (12:30 am)
Second day: April 25,2009 Day time
9:00 am Yesss! It’s breakfast time and I’m starving i hope that bread republic will be here anytime soon. Outside the roll up banners and most importantly the encouragement messages that are on it, have fallen down on the floor. Gladly a visitor just arrived. Born interactive i think I’m getting addicted to the internet. (8:00 am)
No title Technologyakkkkkkhhhhhh it’s becoming like the coffee cup I’m pouring many times a day. it took me many minutes to write it, time i took off from my production counted hours. But you know what?? you’re worth writing every info i had to tell you. About the coffee cup…(8:30 am)
Coffee break I’m emotionally touched by your comments dear friends and followers of the project, who i consider as being friends as well. You’re the ones i think of when i don’t go to sleep. I’m in a good mood as you mentioned Rita, especially when I’m in action, i must admit that i sat and ate more than yesterday. When I’m not painting i start having those compulsive disorders where i have to clean the mess around me without having to throw anything so i spend some time picking up a glove only to put it in an another place. The new thing today is that I’ve created my own window, if you pass by anytime between today, tomorrow or Monday before noon you’ll see that the personal things i have used are displayed in a very proper way + there is a board on which i wrote you all a message, i took a picture of it..Guess what it is??????? the old news is that I’ve spread the coffee for the fourth time since I’ve been here, on one of the canvasses on the floor. The mug is always displayed there by Lucien when the coffee is ready (thanks a lot lb) and since I’m focused only on the tasks i have to do, which is to achieve the highest number of paintings possible during the 24 hours, I miss seeing this cup and find it later poured between my legs. The cup is empty now it’s displayed at the widow. Actually i think I’ll sell all items that are displayed behind the window to keep the fundraising going, in order to settle the small expenses of the projects. Next I’ll send you a list of the 72 Hrs articles (on sale now). (8:34 am)
A quick hello from inside the lab I just wanna thank you for being there, i also wanna thank all the sponsors and the team who believed in this project since its beginning. Tonight will be also a long night, maybe longer than last night since i have to work minute to minute on the achievement of at least the two remaining paintings on the wall. I’m trying to manage the web cam as much as i can it’s not easy when your hands are always busy. (12:00 pm) Night time
I’m here Hello all, It took me a while to write you today I was reading your posts and checking what the press wrote about the event. I’m glad that the press found the project interesting, i haven’t expected this kind of media tic coverage. I have to go back to work now; I’ll surely post you early in the morning. On the web cam you can watch the viewers from outside the window. I love you a+ (8:39 pm)
Third Day: April 26,2009 Day time If i could i would write I had many things to share but I’m too tired to write, i hope to get back during the day. (4:23 am)
Last night Upset stomach, stomach ache, nausea, last night i felt so dizzy that i couldn’t do anything whether on the floor or on the top of one of the wall paintings. TodayI’m crying, I’m not sad, tears are just popping out of nowhere. (6:15 am)
Pair of socks the ambiance being created around the 72 hrs is a dream come true. You all should have witnessed the dedication, help and support on behalf of people and university students that is being generously offered. Those remaining hours are still unknown; physically i don’t control most of my capacities. The fact that i get dizzy every time i get up on the ladder is limiting my will in creation. It’s good that i have a fan club present every day that give me all the moral support i need and different groups of people keep me company all night. I have encouraged insomnia it seems as well, i wish you all good nights of sleep I’ll try my best to go back to what once was my sleeping habit (11pm to 9am). This i have lost since i started thinking about the 72 hours, the more i thought of the project the last i slept. Today i have sold my first pair of socks to a great fan called Raphael and i still have a few more items displayed on my window that are all for sale such as my pair of jeans, other pants, loads of gloves, 2 aprons, a mask and the 2 buckets i mix the paint in. See you hopefully later on! (7:06 am)
To the crowd Dear Friends, Please respect this neighbourhood we’re at and try not to make noise after 12-30. I guess it’s normal that residents would get annoyed especially that houses are already surrounded by clubs. You all know how much did the residents of Gemmayze endure, as for me, I’ve never thought 72 hrs would attract crowds that’s why the problem of the noise wasn’t in my thoughts. I have received a letter just now claiming that a respectful resident is not being capable of sleeping. Pls once again don’t be loud. I appreciate your cooperation in this important mission. (10:25 am)
The 72 hours count down Thejourney is not over yet i still have to paint the artwork hanged to the ceiling. I’m so tired now and all my body is aching…Tangui I will surely be tuned to the station in a while. I’m drinking coffee now, in the company of two crazy fans!@. (6:51 pm)
The last hours I’m outside now; you all guessed I’m sure. I’m sorry I didn’t write during the last hours, I couldn’t think clearly. The last night was the hardest; I had to wear as some of you might have noticed my sun glasses to stop the light from burning my eyes. I sat on the chair, the two crazy fans I mentioned in my last post, were sitting on the bench behind the window shouting: don’t sleep!! Don’t sleep!! I had to paint the ceiling and I was so dizzy that every time I climbed on the ladder I felt like climbing on a skyscraper. I had the laptop at one point, on my knees cause I knew that some of you were waiting for a new post, wanted to know what was happening inside. I couldn’t write anything, nothing at all and the only words that came out were: I’m sitting in the company of two crazy fans. That night I postponed my work for a couple of hours. At 3 am I was figuring out a way to reach the ceiling. Finally the two crazy fans came up with a plan. They thought that if I put Kleenex into the glove (the big one) and insert the stuffed glove into the wooden stick, it’ll create the same effect as my hand and would reach the ceiling. It did reach it but the effect was far from being the one i was looking for. So this plan has failed. I sat waiting for a couple of hours to pass by. My butt hearted me so did my legs and arms. When I stood up the sun had come up and I started to find my strength again. The two crazy fans (Rafael and Selim) had gone to sleep. Although every time I thought that they would sacrifice longer hours to keep me awake. I climbed again on the ladder and since the hours were counted I started painting and painting all over the canvas on the left. I was satisfied with the result. But like every morning my body started shivering, my eyes would drop tears despite my will to cry and It would take me tremendous effort to move my body parts in a direction or the other. I was lucky to still be there, breathing although the look in people’s eyes that started to stare again from the outside, was a pitiful look. Was I in danger? I asked myself when my head started to weigh like a hundred tons. (5: 39 am)
A few media releases following the 72 hrs event:
|Print Works– Born interactive-Samsung IDM ADG – Association de Developpement de Gemmayzeh Laboratoire d’art Bread Republic Raidy Printing Group Mokhtar.
|Creative communication: Dalia Nahas.|