"From an all-round terrific presentation by the Beirut- and Hamburg-based Galerie Sfeir-Semler, three works deserve special mention. A yellow embroidered tent by Mounira Al Solh immediately captures one’s attention but unlike Tracey Emin’s famous tent detailing everyone she ever slept with, Al Solh’s tent bears sewn testimonies of abuse from Arab women interviewed by the artist. Along with these quotes of suffering, al Solh has embroidered uteruses in a celebration of womanhood and female resilience."
"‘Havana Syndrome’, the mysterious condition which purportedly resulted from attacks such as this one, is the topic of Tieu’s upcoming film, Moving Target Shadow Detection (2021), commissioned for this year’s Frieze Artist Award, having fascinated the artist since she first heard about it in 2017."
"Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. 1981, Polokwane, South Africa) presents a suite of new, ICA-commissioned work spanning video, sculpture, installation, and animation, curated by Amber Esseiva. Celebrated for her research-intensive explorations of place, history and spirituality, Bopape often roots her work in the material and metaphysical qualities of earthly elements like soil, clay and dust. She continues this practice in “Ile aye, moya, là, ndokh … harmonic conversions … mm,” gathering clay and soil samples from four sites and incorporating them into each of her new works."
"My project for the Preis der Nationalgalerie builds on my exhibition ›Multiboy‹ at GfZK in Leipzig. That exhibition was based on a flight list that showed which Vietnamese contract workers went to which factories in East Germany. I then collected the original products—from tampons and condoms to shoe polish and detergent—that were produced by these workers. My aim was to lay open the various forms of invisible labour that went into these goods."
Read here [German]
«"The exhibition says much more about the GDR than about the Vietnamese contract workers," says Tieu, whose father was one of them. When the Wall fell in 1989, there were about 60,000 Vietnamese contract workers in the GDR. For them, the collapse of the East German economy meant not only the loss of training and jobs, but often also the loss of their housing in the company-owned dormitories where they were usually isolated from the rest of the population.» [Translation]
Read here [German]
„The sun is a perfect form of the round, because we see the sun in reflections. In Lebanon, after the rain there is the sun, and when you look while walking, there are puddles and, in the water, you see the image of the sun. It is very interesting for a child to see the sun when he walks in the water.“ (Etel Adnan)
Ahead of their presentations at Art Basel, Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews the artists and long-time partners Etel Adnan and Simone Fattal.
Read the interview here
Meet Dubai-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Lawrence Abu-Hamdan decodes the world through sound. A self-proclaimed ‘private ear’, the Dubai-based artist leads audio investigations that uncover often unsavory truths, such as goods trafficking or life inside a Syrian prison. ‘Ear-witness testimony, as opposed to eye-witness testimony, is the most prevalent source of evidence,’ says Abu Hamdan, who has collaborated with institutions including Amnesty International and Defense for Children International. ‘Why?’ he asks. ‘Because sound leaks.’ It is precisely those leakages that the artist captures and dissects: the ‘pops’ of murderous bullets and regional accents used to determine asylum seekers’ legitimacy. For Abu Hamdan, sounds are telltale signs of the many invisible – and usually oppressive – political forces at play.
For this new episode of Meet the Artists, Abu Hamdan welcomed Art Basel to his studio in Dubai’s former industrial quarter Alserkal Avenue.
One year after Beirut has suffered unimaginable losses, the Austrian broadcaster ORF paid a visit to several cultural institutions to shed light on the current life in the city. The extract shows an interview with Marwan Rechmaoui and Beirut gallery director Lina Kiryakos.
Watch full video of „Beirut in der Krise“ [German]
"The contract workers, too, had to be able to do many things, were coveted and yet socially excluded. Through her artistic exploration of the relationship between work and life, individual and system, Sung Tieu brings this past to light."
"And in this opus, with its sunny cover, we plunge into the radiant intensity of these abstract and colorful "threaded works of art" (the tracing of which took a year of research throughout the world for the gallery team), as well as into the fluid narration of the stages of their creation."
"Rechmaoui always approaches the city in a very concrete way. Not only in his choice of material. His working method is also down-to-earth in the sense that he has walked, photographed and mapped all the districts, seeking to grasp the many religious, social and cultural fault lines as well as the genealogical, geographical and historical layers."
Live interview with Marwan Rechmaoui on Al Araby TV as part of the Shababik programme.
"The Franco-Palestinian artist Taysir Batniji tells the story of exile, the search for identity, disappearance, impermanence." (French)
Join contemporary artist Rayyane Tabet and Met curators to explore the development of Rayyane Tabet / Alien Property.