Beirut #4: Responses

Responses: With each set of dishes, we asked our guests to think of a word or phrase that arose in their reflections. Their words are critical, as they record the complexity of confronting the challenge of being-of-a-place and not simply being-in-a-place. These responses are listed by set of dishes, each response is separated by a comma. The ordering is ours.


curious, butter, moist,
tastes like the sea salty,
salt, salt,
salty, salty, salty,
salt citrus beach, vigilance edge of the sea that was,


mind matter, smooth,
schluck es?
teeth tasty smoothly, nature taste,
danger barrier play wise calming,
kind, oyster, smoked bitter, tree-flower,


gin tonic: sparkling water with the bitter taste of the limestone,
small stone sea glass big stone iron black stone sea water cocktail,
circulation, born, awkward


salty sexy


River Bed

spicy, fizzy, perfumed, summer shitty, mineral,


salty + a little sour (finger taste), peach fruit crust pulp,


sea-wine, root,
dry, air sunset, acidic,
salt texture, bold, erde,
lime, weird, bon-bon,
up the mountain, sensual—bitter, evolution,
balance, shio,
expectation surprise, as on mars,
soft, space



gritty, sea-wine,
refreshing, confusing, nourishing,
steinzeit-sekt, taste after vomiting,
beach grass song, wild, reverent — dwell inhabit, remains, childhood, effective, cold & fish, lunch, bitter-cold, lab, salty,
healthy, mud, trash, difficult fusion mud
origin, construction, acceptance


sandy, sandy,
toxic, rough/coarse,
boring, rock, rock to be,
acidic, flare, raw, earth have, coffee, bright prickly, bitter-sweet, spring,
earthy, earthy, tasty,
experimental, confused


detritus, boring, falafel-like, sulfur,
i’d like chocolate,
rock that was,
deep, happy, cultivated, discovery,
normal, irritating, grain,
smooth, it is all in the wind,
water-cress, interaction, fish, fish


alcohol, wild, perfect,
cold charcoal with,
mean, demanding familiar confronting, party, rich, intrusion, burning, visual circle





taste of mud—campfire,
good, compliment,
natural, dislike,
rain, for ever



cactus spirit,
i don’t know — zero,
smells like my mother's scarf — tastes like Palestine,
yukii, grilled, potpourri,



seeing out of the sea the beginnings of the world,
food after hunger,
good, elementary, harsh, essentials



being, liquor of happiness (without honey), ancient, beauty,
insect, a little toy, humanity in space
perfumed sweat, no nature
weihrauch & quitte, peace
i like it! good



nothing to feel, stone



This is part four of four blogs on our time in Beirut (part one, part two, part three).

We were invited to Beirut by Christine Tohme to participate in the Sharjah Biennial 13  Tamawuj Beirut Off-site Project: Upon a Shifting Plate. A very special thanks to everyone who helped make this project possible: the whole team at Ashkal Alwan,  and Station.  Zakaria Nasser, who worked day and night, from sea to sky, we thank you deeply -- nothing would have happened without your remarkable collaboration and assistance.

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