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CultureA palimpsest of realities and collective memories: The on-going exhibitions of Palais...

A palimpsest of realities and collective memories: The on-going exhibitions of Palais de Tokyo

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By Biserka Gramatikova

A crisis that is here and now, but begins somewhere in the past. A crisis of identities, positions and morals – political and personal. A crisis of time and space, the foundations of which are rooted in the twentieth century. The exhibition “Dislocations” at the “Palais de Tokyo” gathers the work of 15 artists from different generations, with different pasts (Afghanistan, France, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine, Myanmar, Syria, Ukraine). What unites them is the creative search for the border between the present and the past. Fragments of stories, remnants of war, a combination between the simplicity of materials and the technological possibilities of modern times.

The project was prepared in collaboration between the Palais de Tokyo and the non-profit organization Portes ouvertes sur l’art, which disseminates the work of artists in exile and in search of free expression. The organization helps these authors collaborate with the artistic scene in France.

Curators are Marie-Laure Bernadac and Daria de Beauvais.

Artists: Majd Abdel Hamid, Rada Akbar, Bissane Al Charif, Ali Arkady, Cathryn Boch, Tirdad Hashemi, Fati Khademi, Sara Kontar, Nge Lay, Randa Maddah, May Murad, Armineh Negahdari, Hadi Rahnaward, Maha Yammine, Misha Zavalniy

The transcontinental history of political and social solidarity was at its peak in the decades between 1960 and 1980. In the movement of anti-imperialism, whole peoples try to erase the traumas of the past, build a new identity and win their place in the world. The exhibition “Past Disquiet” is an archival-documentary curatorial study by Kristine Khouri and Rasha Salti – a “museum of exile” or a “museum of solidarity”. From the Palestinian struggle for freedom to the resistance against the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the apartheid regime in South Africa.

“The International Art Exhibition for Palestine” held in Beirut in 1987 is the starting point of the current “Solidarity Museum”. The curators gather documentary materials from Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Hungary, South Africa and Japan to piece together the puzzle of activism, unique artistic events, collections and demonstrations around the world related to anti-imperialism twentieth century movement.

The Palais de Tokyo’s peculiar cycle of exhibitions in which the ghost of colonialism is present and in which the traumas of the past find their reflection in the tensions and provocations of the present, ends with the SIGNAL exhibition by Mohamed Bourouissa. A central theme in the exhibition is the restriction of thought – control over language, music, forms – and alienation from the environment. The artist’s world stretches from his hometown of Blida in Algeria, through France, where he now lives, to the skies over Gaza.

Photo by Biserka Gramatikova. Exhibition “Dislocations” at the “Palais de Tokyo”.

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