Saba Innab, Works in progress, 2017. Courtesy Saba Innab
Saba Innab is an architect, urbanism researcher and artist working in Amman (Jordan) and Beirut (Lebanon). She is a graduate of the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The work of Saba Innab relates to urbanism and the process of the production and re-production of space. She has worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on the reconstruction of the Nahr el Bared camp in North Lebanon – a project nominated for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Her work was presented at the 6th Biennale of Marrakech (2016), the 7th Home Works show at Beirut (2015) and at the Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw (2015).
For the occasion of the Biennale, La Box, the gallery of the Bourges national school of art [l’École nationale supérieure d’art de Bourges], is welcoming Saba Innab as an artist in residency. She also presents a series of models questioning landless architecture.
Tomorrow, Poetry Will (Not) Be The House of Life*
The genesis of modernity in the Arab world, whether as logic or aesthetic was in complete isolation from the historic and socio- economic conditions that produced the avant-garde project. While the moment of modernity gave rise to the notion of “Nation” state, it was also the moment of refuge and exile in the region; it can be seen as an inscription of a colonial effect onto space.
The project revisits the relationship of construction and land to time departing from the Palestinian refuge and exile; a temporariness that gradually transformed- or deformed- into permanence. Understanding dwelling in temporariness is further complicated when juxtaposed with processes of modernization and modernity in the region, especially when it’s not isolated from the general discourse of modernity. The different patterns of dwelling in temporariness are recollected and recognized as archetypes and know- hows that span geographically and territorially. Those archetypes are then recreated and materialized, becoming a topographic realm forming an archeological site, or a record inscribed in the architecture of everyday life.
*In 1956, Alba, Italy, Constant delivered a lecture entitled “De-maid la poésie logera la Vie” (Tomorrow Poetry Will Be the House of Life) in a meeting of a group of avant-garde artists, marking the beginnings of his project New Babylon.