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The International Festival of Contemporary Art of Algiers (FIAC), organized for the first time in 2009, is part of the periodic events of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Algiers (MAMA). It aims at promoting contemporary art production, questioning and analizing its conditions and necessities both in Algiers and in the world at large, an art production that is always at the heart of the living, proof of its vitality and freedom. Based on this, the Festival proposes to be a crossroad, a confrontation of different aesthetic positions and artistic discourses.
The 3rd edition takes place from 3 December 2011 to 3 February 2012, under the theme of "Retour" (Return), a concept proposed in its broad philosophical, social, cultural and artistic sense.
Festival Theme: The Return
Life is a journey and this journey is a passage through time. Existence is the physical form and the return is a simultaneous moment when a person examines their identity in search of integrity or to face their doubts.
Thus, the concept of return refers more than anything else to the notion of time. This key word has a double meaning: a physical movement, real displacement through geographical space and a mental, narrative process as a return on oneself.
The multiple facets of the concept and its semantics refer to notions like exile, travel or return to real, imaginary, introspective space(s)…
We constantly observe that life is often punctuated by crises that conjure up a return to the past, to certain values, myths, to old fears or longings that radiate through experience. In fact, these periods always force people to return to the source, to the past as a way to rebuild social ties that have collapsed, a return to the scene (figuratively or literally) as an attempt to open a new space in cultural, social, geopolitical interrogations…
Art is obsessed with time and its effects: memory, reliving the past in the present, the presence of the future in the past, affects and reminiscences of a lived experience, the need to understand and know what once was…
But the return, as the denial of departure, in the progressive sense, is also about reorientation, reactivation of experiences and wishes: it acts towards the present or towards the past or towards a space where everything is known and remade.
More than ever today you notice its presence in art, in a process of permanent re-appropriation, articulating the field of contemporary art, linking the visible "what is here" and the invisible "what was". There is a return to the spiritual, to exile, diasporas, lost or spoliated heritage, history. It recurs in all aspects of social life, fashion, culture, ideology like an urge for resource and eternal flow necessary to life itself.
Since time immemorial, art has constantly carried this question and shown that, as Paul Ricœur said, the condition to conceiving an identity is to return on oneself.
Under the curatorial direction of Nadira Laggoune, artists from 16 countries have been invited to participate in the exhibition. Curators and art critics from different countries, including the editors-in-chief of the Nafas Art Magazine, joined the festival to participate in the round tables.
Artists at the exhibition:
Sadik Kwaish Alfraji (Iraq)
Alice Anderson (United Kingdom)
Giorgio Andreotta (Italia)
Cheikhou Bâ (Senegal)
Neil Beloufa (Algeria)
Amel Ben Attia (Tunisia)
Atef Berredjem (Algeria)
Halida Boughriet (Algeria)
Zineddine Bessaï (Algeria)
Mohamed Camara (Mali)
Claudia Casarino (Paraguay)
Imran Channa (Pakistan)
Tim Eitel (Germany)
İnci Eviner (Turkey)
Aïcha Filali (Tunisia)
Ivan Grubanov (Serbia)
Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (Lebanon)
Mona Hatoum (Anglo-Palestinian)
Bouchra Khalili (Morocco)
Koo Jeong A (Corea)
Andrey Kuzkin (Russia)
Driss Ouadahi (Algeria)
Dan Perjovschi (Romania)
Oussama Tabti (Algeria)
Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon)
>> Photos of the exhibition
Round tables, 4 December 2011.
Pat Binder & Gerhard Haupt
Bartomeu Marí i Ribas
3ème Festival International D’Art Contemporain D’Alger
3 December 2011 -
3 February 2012
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Algiers (MAMA)