• Copy: Dane Rahlf & Matt Norman

مارد من رماد THE GESTURE 2021 Beirut, Lebanon Description Location Year THE GESTURE 2021 The Gesture is a large-scale temporary sculpture conceived by Nadim Karam in response to the 4th of August explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut and its surroundings, killing hundreds of people, injuring thousands and leaving more than 300 000 displaced.

Built and installed on ground zero, the work is being put together with steel from the carcasses of destroyed hangars in the port area. The damaged steel beams are being used as they were found; literally sculptured by the explosion.

Karam has created the work as an act of memory and a gesture towards the immensity of and sadness that marks the people of Beirut, one year after the tragedy. Standing 25m high, and weighing about 35 tons, the work is a human figure made from the scars from the explosion. Referred to in Arabic as مارد من رماد (Giant from Ashes), it is huge in stature but tiny in relation to the scale of loss and destruction in Beirut.

The Gesture follows the line of projects within Karam’s practice responding to post-disaster contexts and seeking to assert the power of creativity over violence.
Beirut, Lebanon The Gesture grew organically from the bond between Karam and his native city, and his every response through art works to the shockwaves at critical junctions in Beirut’s history.
The project was initiated and created by Nadim Karam, developed by his studio and realized through the collective effort of many professionals: architects, engineers, water engineers, light designers, technicians, welders, photographers, film, planners, Port administrative staff, military, cultural institutions, graphic designers, printing house, communication experts and others who felt compelled to contribute their own gesture for Beirut in the wake of this disaster.

The Gesture is being achieved without a project budget: each person involved is giving his or her time, expertise, equipment or materials towards the development of the work, which has resulted in a large-scale communal pro bono endeavor to support this temporary symbol.

It is being offered to Beirut to initiate a cathartic process for the grief at the loss of lives, homes and an important part of the city.
مارد من رماد