"Etel is the perpetual search for the right word. She speaks several languages and this is felt in her accents, her impulses, her expression, which become universal. She explores, she digs, and magical words come out of her voice, out of her being. And it is all the Mediterranean world that unfolds. Perhaps, from where she is, she will find a way for all of us. She has the strength to do so.
« The morning after
we will sit in cafés
but I will not
I will not be »
As a tribute to Etel Adnan, the Festival d'art lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence and LUMA are broadcasting here the unedited filmed version of The Arab Apocalypse, which she was unable to see in person but fervently supported from a distance. And she will be with us again."
It was January 1975. One day, I took a pen, a sheet of paper, and I thought: I want to write a poem about the sun. Totally repetitive: the sun, the sun, the sun.Etel Adnan, "Nous savons tant et nous savons si peu" (2011 - 2017)
Presented at LUMA in Arles last July, the musical theater The Arab Apocalypse, based on the publication created in 1975 by the painter and poet Etel Adnan offers a gripping depiction of the civil war in Lebanon. The sun, a central figure in a series of mystical variations, allegorises the spread and influence of cultures from throughout the Arab world, and the cataclysm that was brought upon them in an endless tragedy with global repercussions. This work—a virulent denunciation of crimes that sprung from intolerance—is like no other, and profoundly touched and inspired the Israeli-Palestinian composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi, who lives in Berlin, and the Franco-Lebanese stage director Pierre Audi.
This event was commissioned by Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in coproduction with LUMA Foundation and Abu Dhabi Festival.
With the support of André and Rosalie Hoffmann and le Cercle Incises pour la création contemporaine.
The commission to Samir Odeh-Tamimi was supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
Etel Adnan (1925-2021) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet and essayist, writing in French and English. Born in Beirut, she moved to Paris after a long period of residence in California.
She began painting in the 1960s and her work has received international recognition since dOCUMENTA(13), in 2012. In 2014, she was invited to the biennial of the Whitney Museum (New York) and the Qatar museum of modern art, the Mathaf, dedicated a retrospective to her, organized by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Since then, numerous museums (Bern, Luxembourg, San Francisco, Aspen, Lille, etc.) and art centres have devoted exhibitions to her. Adnan’s works appear in numerous collections, including the MNAM-Center Pompidou, Paris; Mathaf, Doha, Qatar; MoMA, New York; M +, Hong Kong; Royal Jordanian Museum, Amman; the Museum of Modern Art, Tunis; Sursock Museum, Beirut; Institute of the Arab World, Paris; British Museum, London; Tate Gallery, London; World Bank Collection, Washington D.C.; National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C; as well as in many private collections.