Joyce Joumaa

Joyce Joumaa is a video artist and writer based between Beirut and Montreal. After growing up in Lebanon, she pursued a BFA in Film Studies at Concordia University in Canada. Her work focuses on microhistories within Lebanon as a way to understand how past structures inform the present moment. Central to her practice is an interest towards the political charge inscribed in spaces and the social psychology that unfolds out of this tension. 

Her work has shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, FOFA Gallery and Dazibao. She was a finalist for the 2023 Prix Pierre Ayot and the recipient of the 2023 Bourse Plein-Sud. In 2022 she was the recipient of the Emerging Curator Residency at the CCA Canadian Centre for Architecture. 
Her 16mm film To Remain in the no Longer (2023) has been screened at MUDAC (Lausanne, Switzerland), The 35th edition of Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Open City Documentary Festival (London, UK), 18th Edition of Ecrans du Reel (Beirut, Lebanon) and was included in the 2nd Sharjah Architecture Triennale (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates).

Thresholds of Insight
Memory Contours
To Remain in the no longer

Selected Install Views
Selected Collaborations
Sculpture Work
Photo Work



*60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia “Foreigners Everywhere”

*A Temporary Loss of Consciousness - Eli Kerr Gallery
*Periculum Production Award

For CV, Studio Visits, Portfolio or Commissions
Email me or contact Eli Kerr

     2024, Video   
In Memory Contours, Joumaa turns to a chapter of the eugenics movement in the United States and its effects on newly arrived immigrants in the early 1900s. Specifically, she investigates the “intelligence” tests designed to identify mental deficiency, potentially leading to the detention and deportation of individuals. Departing from the 1914 U.S. Public Health Service report, Mentality of the Arriving Immigrant, Joumaa focuses on a particular mental test conducted on Ellis Island, New York, where participants were instructed to draw shapes from memory. She replicates four drawings featured in the report as case studies and juxtaposes them with close-up videos of hands recreating each sketch. Their interplay heightens a tension between drawing as a gestural expression and its instrumentalization as a measure of skill and intelligence. Joumaa's installation lays bare the discriminatory controls imposed on newcomers, and the systemic stigmatization of foreignness, linking it to inadequacy, unsuitability, and inferiority.

Text by Julia Eilers Smith

Installation Views 


       2024, Video
Mutable Cycles II explores the influx in solar energy in Lebanon following the current economic crisis. Tracing the scientific trajectory of the earth around the sun, the narration is a reflection on the notion of cyclicality within crises that emerged within the contemporary political history of the country.

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2023, Film
To Remain In The No Longer examines the architectural, social and political significance of Niemeyer’s fairground. Through archival materials, interviews with local people, 16mm and digital images of the buildings as they stand today, the film reflects on both the fraught history of this site and its connection to the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon today.

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   2021, Video
Merging, Dissecting, Collecting is a video work that explores the concept of the reversed gaze. Using the binocular viewfinder that is thought to be a colonial tool, the images interplay between footage that were shot in Istanbul, Turkey and Tripoli, Lebanon. The former being a place where colonization emerged and the latter being a place where colonization was practiced. Juxtaposed with the sound of history lessons from school textbooks which are used in Lebanon, the work aims at revisiting the history of colonization by the Ottoman Empire in present time and how it is interpreted in contemporary educational knowledge.