Cement lines that describing Tripoli shot by Daniele Ratti and Luisa Porta

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Daniele Ratti and  Luisa Porta are two photographers, based in Torino, they work everywhere , from Italy to Africa. They ideas and projects are connected with people , objects and architecture. The main focus is telling stories.

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About ‘Oscar Niemayer’s hidden architecture in Tripoli, Lebanon’:

“The ruins are the places infested by the living beings that inhabit them”

Jalal Toufic, Lebanese artist Oscar Niemeyer’s Rashid Karami International Fair is a monument to everything Lebanon could have been and never has been. Its surface of about 100 hectares sleeps in the southeast of Tripoli since 1960.

In the idea of his client, President Fuad Chehab, the fairground was to be an ideal bridge between East and West and a showcase for the prosperous Lebanese economy of that period. Sphere, disc, pyramid, arch: there is all the tension towards modernity enclosed in the curved lines of this monumental complex now abandoned to itself.

Daniele Ratti and Luisa Porta immortalize, in a moment of eternal and crystallized suspension, this “ruined set of human greatness”, this scar in the urban topography of Tripoli, which is there to remember indelibly all that the city could become and that not it’s never been. The density of blacks and whites, the ability to capture the harmony between the regularity of verticalism and the implosion of curves, as well as that of restoring the coexistence between rationality and eclecticism, catapult the viewer into this space / no space completely disconnected from urban and spatial context in which it is inserted.

In this immense attempt of architectural innovation is contained the great drama of the whole Humanity, the atavistic tendency to evolution and, at the same time, the misery of war that interrupts and destroys everything. And although Man is absent in these shots, it seems almost to see the shadow between the industrial remains of this missed possibility. Yesterday and today they meet, the West and the East touch each other in an everlasting warning of the revenge of Humanity.

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Text by Laura Tota

Time to read
4 min
Words by
Published on
25 May 2018
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