Hiding in Plain Sight

Rayyane Tabet

b. 1983, Achkout, Lebanon
Lives and works between Beirut, Lebanon and San Francisco, California

Rayyane Tabet’s Steel Rings 2021 are part of the ongoing series entitled “The Shortest Distance Between Two Points”, that investigates the often-concealed history and subjectivity of political and energy infrastructures. When complete, Tabet’s work will replicate the entire length of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline—a pipeline that transported crude oil from Saudi Arabia to the West through Jordan Syria, and Lebanon from 1950-1983. The installation, on view here, includes twenty-three individual rolled- steel rings representing 23 km of the TAPline’s circuitous route. Each ring is the same diameter and thickness of the oil pipeline, and engraved with the longitude, latitude, and elevation of the rings’ specific sequential location. With a single ring representing one kilometer, each time this work is shown, a new set of rings will be produced until the entire route is recreated. For Hiding in Plain Sight, the coordinates of Tabet’s Steel Rings run across 23 km in the Golan Heights.

Rayyane Tabet, Steel Ring, 2013 - ongoing (fabricated 2021), rolled, engraved steel with km longitude, latitude and elevation marking of specific location on the TAPLine, 30-3/4" × 30-1/2" × 4" (78.1 cm × 77.5 cm × 10.2 cm), Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut / Hamburg

Tabet’s Whiteprint I and Whiteprint II (1965-2021) are original diazo prints of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline (TAPline) Company Headquarters in Beirut. Built by Arabian American Oil company (ARAMCO), the TAPline extended 1,213 km from the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon. These construction documents were part of the material Tabet recovered from the abandoned offices of the company in Lebanon. The material had been left to rot and disintegrate following the collapse of the infrastructure in 1983 when the geopolitics of the region took over the functionality of the pipeline. The works are framed between two sheets of Plexiglas so that their backs and front are exposed to show the passage of time over the surface of the paper.

Rayyane Tabet, Whiteprint I, 1965-2021, diazo print; original whiteprint of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company Headquarters found in the abandoned offices of the company in Beirut, Lebanon, 39" × 43-1/4" (99.1 cm × 109.9 cm) paper
Rayyane Tabet, Whiteprint II, 1965-2021, diazo print; original whiteprint of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company Headquarters found in the abandoned offices of the company in Beirut, Lebanon, 39" × 43-1/4" (99.1 cm × 109.9 cm), paper
Rayyane Tabet

Rayyane Tabet (b. 1983, Achkout, Lebanon) lives and works between Beirut and San Francisco. He earned a Bachelor in Architecture from The Cooper Union, New York and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of California, San Diego.

Recent shows include Deep Blues, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2021), Alien Property, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2019-2021), Exquisite Corpse, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2021), Arabesque, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York (2019), Encounters, Parasol Unit, London (2019), Forgotten Kingdoms, The Louvre Museum, Paris (2019), FRAGMENTS, Carré d'Art, Nîmes (2019) and BRUCHSTÜCKE, Kunstverein in Hamburg (2017-2018). His work was featured in the 6th Yokohama Triennial, Yokohama, Japan (2020), Manifesta 12, Palermo, Italy (2018), the 21st Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2018) the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2017), the 32nd São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil (2016), the 6th Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech, Morocco (2016), the 10th & 12th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2011 and 2015) and the 2nd New Museum Triennial, New York (2012). Tabet was awarded the Sharjah Biennial Artist Prize (2011); the Future Generation Artist Prize Jury Award, Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev (2012); the Abraaj Group Art Prize, Dubai (2013); the DAAD Artist in Berlin Program, Berlin (2016) and the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Captiva Island (2022).