Rania Matar Artist Talk
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 12:30pmKnapp Atrium in Pendleton East
Rania Matar discusses the images from her series about girls and women in the United States and in the Middle East. Her photographs reveal coming-of-age experiences that not only reflect a particular cultural time and place, but speak to the universality of identity as well. Focusing on girls and women, Matar documents her life through the lives of those around her, emphasizing the personal and the mundane in an attempt to portray the universal within the personal.
Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. Matar was originally trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and at Cornell University, and later studied photography in the US at the New England School of Photography and the Maine Photographic Workshops. Matar started teaching photography in 2009 and offered summer photography workshops to teenage girls in Lebanon's refugee camps with the assistance of non-governmental organizations. She now teaches Personal Documentary Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Matar's work focuses on girls and women. She documents her life through the lives of those around her, focusing on the personal and the mundane in an attempt to portray the universal within the personal. Her work has won several awards, has been featured in numerous publications, and exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally. Her images are in the permanent collections of several museums worldwide; one of here works can be found her in the Davis Museum. Matar’s work has been widely published and exhibited in the U.S. and internationally, most recently at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers From Iran and the Arab World; Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York; East Wing Gallery, Dubai; Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut; Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg Germany; Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida; Sharjah Art Museum; National Portrait Gallery in London. Matar has won numerous awards, including the 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011 and 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships, first place at the New England Photographers Biennial and Women in Photography International. In 2008 she was a finalist for the distinguished Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition. She has published three books: L’Enfant-Femme, 2016, A Girl and Her Room, 2012, and Ordinary Lives, 2009.
Photo above by Rania Matar: Dima, Beirut Lebanon, 2010