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MOVING IMAGE ART ACROSS THE ARAB WORLD
3.10 2015 – 10.1 2016
C-salen

Malmö Konsthall highlights five international emerging artists whose works reflect on and contribute to artistic and political discourses in the Arab world and its diaspora. Organized in cooperation with the MAFF, Malmö Arab Film Festival, the exhibition explores a range of methodological and aesthetic approaches, and at the same time, examines how artists engage with a variety of contemporary geographic and political realities. Rather than suggesting trends or similarities among artists working in the Middle East and North Africa, this exhibition presents a multitude of concerns and reflections, mirroring the difficulty of classifying an “Arab World” in the first place.

What these artists share is an outward-looking view, pulling from local and global histories to process concerns of today, and aesthetic inventions that have led them to be recognized across the globe. The exhibition is presented in three parts. Participating artists are Bouchra Khalili (MO/FR), Maha Maamoun (EG), Nicène Kossentini (TU), Adelita Husni-Bey (IT/LY) and Ali Cherri (LE).

Ali Cherri mines geological, political, and cultural histories of the region to reflect on possible futures in Lebanon and beyond. In his video, The Disquiet, Cherri examines the many fault lines that run through the country, imagining the area as a matrix of seismic and social catastrophe, and inquiring into the relation between different types of disaster. Similarly, Bouchra Khalili’s Garden Conversation, grafts and historical event over contemporary realities, conjuring new meanings from the archive. In staging past revolutionary moments over the critical conditions of today, Khalili’s projects offer new strategies and discourses of resistance. Furthering in the concept of possibility, Adelita Husni-Bey’s Postcards From the Desert Island tests what a new political system could look like if the opportunity existed to start from scratch. Similar to Khahili, Husni-Bey employs artistic inquiry and collective processes to imagine new models for social organization.

The installation Heaven or Hell, by Nicene Kossentini looks back both to iconic avant-garde artistic practices and to recent revolt throughout the Arab World. The abstract movement and collected sound combine to meditate on the present while enacting tropes of the past, comparing the noise, structure, and icons of art and revolution. As a complement, Maha Maamoun’s video 2026 is a vision of a future Egypt that looks to the possibilities of a far off future, yet remains severely confined by the present’s imagined constraints.

Co-curators: Diana Baldon, Rachael Rakes

Opening Friday October 2, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
This exhibition is part of Malmö Arab Film Festival – MAFF.


PART I / 3.10 – 1.11 2015

BOUCHRA KHALILI: Garden Conversation

2014, Dubai (produced for the Abraaj Group Art Prize)
16 minutes

Garden Conversation restages a mythical encounter between Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and the exiled hero of the Rif War (1921–1926), Abd el-Karim.
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MAHA MAAMOUN: 2026
2010, Egypt
9 minutes

Based on a text from the Egyptian novel The Revolution of 2053, by Mahmoud Uthman, and referencing a scene from Chris Marker’s iconic La Jetée (1962).
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NICÈNE KOSSENTINI: Heaven or Hell
2012, Tunisia
5 minutes

Heaven or Hell is a video installation inspired by the experimental film Anemic Cinema (1926) by Marcel Duchamp.
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PART II / 4.11 – 6.12 2015

ADELITA HUSNI-BEY: Postcards from the Desert Island

2011–2012, France
22 minutes

Postcards from the Desert Island documents a workshop the artist conducted with students from the École Vitruve, an experimental, self-run elementary school in Paris.
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MAHA MAAMOUN: 2026
2010, Egypt
9 minutes
Read more


NICÈNE KOSSENTINI: Heaven or Hell
2012, Tunisia
5 minutes
Read more


PART III / 9.12 2015 – 10.1 2016

ALI CHERRI: The Disquiet

2013, Lebanon
20 minutes

I The Disquiet investigates Lebanon's geological situation amid unspoken parallel disasters in the country’s recent history, in search of traces of impending catastrophe.
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MAHA MAAMOUN: 2026
2010, Egypt
9 minutes
Read more


NICÈNE KOSSENTINI: Heaven or Hell
2012, Tunisia
5 minutes
Read more


Press images

Print version


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