Once upon a time a little pea

Agial Gallery, Beirut

August – September 2016

“Once upon a time there was a pea” is an installation that associates several places, periods and socio-political contexts around one question – how can different religious communities and ethnicities live together?

More than just a simple theoretical question, above all it echoes a deep concern: “living together” is a fundamental notion that can generate immeasurable violence when it fails. This is why the installation displays human vulnerability faced with the threat of conflicts beyond comprehension, which, at any given time, can have dramatic consequences on one’s existence. more


In the middle of the installation, a little girl is sleeping on a pile of mattresses. She lies beneath the frame of her bed, on top of which there is an enormous pea in the form of a cannonball.

It is a variation of the fairy tale, the Princess and the Pea. Except in this case, it is not about a wedding engagement, but about survival, to keep dreaming. Contrary to the princess in the fairy tale, the little girl, well aware of the threat, decided to make a shelter out of her bed frame, by placing her mattresses underneath it. The pea is in full view and is a green coated cannonball.

Everything is placed on a carpet on which appears this sentence: “A city with a blue sky and a blue sea, a lost cloud ended up in the blue sky, it started to rain, iron rain.” more





Birds emerge like painting drops on the canvas of the sky, disappear then come back, drawing a figure as fleeting as the sky is permanent and unchanging. Counterpointed by Chagall’s painting at Opéra Garnier, which appears in fragments, sections of the sky, randomly revealed by fictitious lightning. One’s perception is the only thing that’s real.

The soundtrack is a tailor made composition by Jean-Daniel Consoloni. The piano notes echo the drops that the birds make appearing in the sky. Going along with the lighting of the Opéra Garnier, thunder sounds reminiscent of war, break the peace of the piano.

Video: 4 min – Soundtrack:  Jean-Daniel Consoloni