Title: Bench
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Date: 1998
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Artwork Description: In 1998, Solidere, a private real-estate company charged with the urban renewal of central Beirut, bought Choucair?s Bench (1998), a 17-piece articulated bench in stone, which took its place as a novel piece of urban furniture in the city?s Mir Amin Square. Configured in a half-moon curve consisting of irregularly fashioned components, the work looks like a huddle of jovial monoliths. At installation, Solidere split the bench into two uneven parts, interrupting the enfolding, semicircular sweep and foiling Choucair?s geometric flourish. For years, the bench was covered in black graffiti, a forlorn eyesore in a nearly vacant square, a severed modern relic brooding below an ancient tree?it was finally cleaned in 2012. - Kevin Jones for ArtAsia Pacific May/June 2014

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