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Designed in a short time and with limited resources, the exhibition Syrie: Cris - Action / Artistes En Creation clearly assumes its eclecticism and spontaneity. Developing, without really meaning to, the adage of Fluxus "Art is life", it chooses to shed light on works and artists directly involved in Syria and its current issues. Obviously, this is not a light exhibition, given the seriousness of the subject, but it nevertheless reveals a form of satirical humor, as well as a taste for color and very direct forms of expression.
The title sounds like a slogan: it must be repeated, stressed upon, and shouted as if in a protest.
Of course, the invited artists belong to different generations and all have not left a Syria put to fire and sword. But whatever their personal path may be, they chose, at some point, to leave and continue their work freely. Becoming, almost despite themselves, pacifist ambassadors of their country and their families who remained there, how could they do otherwise than to seize the situation and respond in their own way to the death drive orchestrated by the regime since the first uprisings of 2011.
Without imposing any visiting directions, or specific thematic entries, the artworks unfold in space while defying the constraints of place. Yet a certain logic emerges from the whole, building an almost unconscious understanding of a blurred page of contemporary history...
From the outset, the visitor’s tour is hampered by the obstacle created by the wooden structure at the entrance of the exhibition. Being a legacy of previous exhibitions, it prevents him from seeing, literally and figuratively. It deprives the viewer of any overview, keeping him from encompassing the situation. This "wall" finally materializes our failure to understand the complexity of the Syrian conflict.
>>> See the artworks
in a photo tour through the exhibition
Let’s not be naïve : art by itself will not change Syria. However, we do hope that these artworks will, by their soft power, reverse the trend by contributing to building a peaceful nation and preserving the memory for the new generations.
We do hope that the artists will continue their work here and there. This exhibition would not have been possible without their support and their networks. We thank them warmly for their investment and courage.
Syrie: Cris - Action / Artistes en Creation
30 April - 22 June 2014
Institut du Monde Arabe
1, rue des Fossés
place Mohammed V
Ammar Abd Rabbo, Khaled Abdulwahed, Monif Ajaj, Ahmad Ali, Charbel Aoun, Fares Cachoux, Walaa Dakak, Walid El Masri, Manaf Halbouni, Anas Kahal, Hamid Sulaiman.
Simon Cau and Géraldine Bloch
Jalal Alami El Idrissi, Muenyapala Kabamba and the artists