Whistling in the dark

Curated by Aischa Berg

You whistle in the dark to courageously confront an imaginary incertitude. The sound is extending, resonating out of your body while you try and overcome your doubts in the hope that it will turn out well. However, instead of finding shelter, you are exposed in a maze. You might approach a situation with limited understanding or no awareness of its potential results. You talk about matters although lacking sufficient knowledge of them. What will happen if we decide to face the figments of this uncertainty? The uncertainty of knowing what is real…
Moving through time and space, on a continuous quest … artists from other parts of the world come to reside and work here in Beirut for a couple of months or even years …also those artists born and raised in Lebanon … or those who after years return to the country of their origin. What are their linking forces? Whistling in the Dark opens up a dialogue between some of them and seeks new points of entry to their works.
The exhibited artists investigate and raise questions concerning history and reality.
In this quest, the medium of recording in all its varieties becomes an indispensable asset. Recordings are traces. A sound piece, a videotape and a drawing convey an image of truth. Is a stone also a container of traces,
of time and history?
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Workshop gallery is a new contemporary art exhibition space of 16m2 located in the suburbs of Beirut, platform for emerging Lebanese and international artists.

Workshop Gallery

Gallery Opening hours
Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 6 PM
Saturdays on appointment - 03 777 235

W8 Building
Beirut - Lebanon
P.O. Box 2701-1411
Tel +961 1 494 331/552
Email info@workshop-gallery.com

Notes on the vibration of the nervous system

  • (2013/14)

Beirut, I can see the exposed nervous system of the city pulsing every day. The energy flows through the city’s body in ways that can’t be rationally understood but that can somehow be followed underneath its skin.

From the first moment it is important to embody the city’s logic, to attune body and soul to it, to integrate yourself with it. My nervous system is increasingly under the influence of that of the cities as I slowly metabolize it. The map that I draw, mentally, as I move through the urban geography gets inscribes in my brain. I walk again and again through the same confusing streets; I get systematically confronted with the same, sometimes familiar and yet incomprehensible, reality of the city. I draw and redraw the same map in my mind everyday. In Beirut the shadows confuse me in the night; they play games on my eyes. They tell me that there is no right place to be. I see things in front of me that belong somewhere else. In Lisbon the shadows are different, they hold a disturbing thick lonely emptiness, yet, somehow they are stable, even frozen. The drawings presented here were made under the influence of these two places, Beirut and Lisbon.


Daniel Barroca was born in Lisbon in 1976. He finished his Art studies at the School of Art and Design of Caldas da Rainha in 2001. Barroca has been resident artist at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2008 and resident artist at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam supported by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Science. He was granted support by Ashkal Alwan to attend Home Work Program 2013/14 ‘Creating and Dispersing Universes

that Work without Working’. Since 2001 his work has been displayed in venues such as the Serralves Museum (Porto), Reencontres Internacional Paris/ Berlin (Paris), NCCA (Moscow), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), QBox Gallery (Athens), Galleri Image (Aarhus), Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon), CIAJG (Guimarães), Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach – “Lonelyfingers - Konversationsstücke” Special Exhibition of the Year awarded by AICA Germany in 2013).

Daniel Barroca is interested in how “the invisible layers (forces) of reality at some point can emerge and shape our reality”. He is asking whether cancellation (and erasing) can underline the value of memory and things in themselves. With a frequent use of quotation and negation at the same time, that puts under discussion our present times too, he investigates history and reality. The way we perceive the different layers of an object – as well as of a phenomenon – changes in relation to the context and the media through which we are receiving the information.