Drawings, projects… (3)
“I increasingly look to share the idea that I have of art with the public and to introduce to us together the secret of the artist. I am already there. I need to write exhibitions directly in the space, like a drawing or a manuscript.” It is in these terms that the author of the exhibition Drawings, projects (3), Dr. Abdellah Karroum, invites us to discover the universe of a new generation of emerging artists that he presents at L’appartement 22 in Rabat.
Drawings, projects is a program of exhibitions that L’appartement 22 has developed since 2006. After a first edition with the installation, God is design by Adel Abdessemed, and a second with 3Rs Maroc by Seamus Farrell, combining a workshop in Fez with an exhibition in Rabat, L’appartement 22 today welcomes eight artists from Germany, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Romania, and Tunisia. All from the same generation as their curator, they are part of those who build their imaginary from a memory of time:
Doa Aly, Untitled, 2006. Doly ALY, lives and works in Cairo. (A series of four drawings inspired by the artist’s project, 48 ballet lessons, which also resulted in video and photographic works. The drawings, realized on two layers of semi-transparent tracing paper, compose the image of the disarticulated body of a ballerina. The two layers of the work also speak to this state of things between fragility and stability, between meeting and separation.)
Liliana Basarab, the forest, 2006. Liliana BASARAB, lives and works in Romania. (the forest is composed of a series of 500 drawings realized following the artist’s stay in Poland. At the time of this visit, the artist lost herself one night in the Black Forest. Each of the 500 drawings is a detail of the forest. The work lives as fragments, dispersed in different collections around the world).
Keren Benbenisty, untitled, 2006. Keren BENBENISTY, lives and works in Paris. (Karen Benbenisty’s work often evokes duality, the encounter, “impossible love,” the space in-between, as much symbolic as physical. Her work ponders how not to think of the wall and of the tensions between peoples. The artist was born in Israel to a Moroccan mother and a Tunisian father).
Chourouk Hreich, Mythography’s Boats, 2007, 80 x 120 cm. Chourouk HRIECH, lives in Marseille and Marrakech. (The three drawings, made especially for the exhibition at L’appartement 22, represent the artist’s relationship to the country of her origins. Her parents are Moroccan and immigrated to France in the 1960s. She discharges histories, visions, and the humor of her encounter with the “oriental” imaginary. One also finds in the three works scenes described by her parents mixed with the artist’s own visions and experiences.)
Yasmina Mlik, untitled, 2006. Yasmina MLIK, lives and works in Tunisia. (The series of drawings was produced while displaced aboard a Tunisian train. A sort of mental exile and a drawing practice which extract the artist from the reality of a displacement without really going “elsewhere”.)
Younès Rahmoun, Ghorfa, 2006. Younès RAHMOUN, lives and works in Tetouan. (The first drawing entitled Ghorfa is inspired by the artist’s bedroom, site for work, meditation, and prayer. This drawing represents the plan of the Ghorfa placed at the center of L’appartement 22, commensurate with this displacement of the space for creation and meditation into that of its exhibition and sharing.)
Batoul S’Himi, watercolors, 2007. Batoul S’HIMI, lives and works in Morocco. (As a response to L’appartement 22’s invitation, Batoul S’Himi is the only artist who proposes a “project design” for this exhibition. She projects an intervention on the beach in order to realize a giant drawing with natural and biodegradable pigments that represent pages of instant discussions (chat). It is a question of leaving the computer window in order to move toward real encounters.)
Katrin Ströbel, untitled, 2006. Katrin STRÖBEL, lives and works in Stuttgart. (The artist, on her first visit to Morocco, works on the principle of translation. She composes a single form with Latin and Arabic signs and calligraphy. Throughout her own practice, Katrin Ströbel interrogates the condition of the artist in a different cultural context than that of her country, Germany. The drawings presented here are portraits of artists, often of her own generation, whom she met in Morocco).
Eight artists coming from different horizons, from different universes, who evolved in different cultures, but who share the same vision of art, of artistic thought, and today, the same space for the first time, that of L’appartement 22. Artists who, through their drawings, recount, retrace, relive, and share their emotions. Drawings and images which come to life thanks to the gestures of the artists or in the words of Abdellah KARROUM, “the gesture is the source of the drawing, this gesture is dictated by an imagination that corresponds to what the artist takes from the world, humor discharged in the body of the artist, like in our bodies as human beings who consume.” Throughout his years of work and research, Karroum tries to bring to life art in Morocco outside of an “existence of consumption,” to create an alternative vision of the ambient academicism in the art schools and as a result for the Moroccan public. A need to “write the exhibitions” in time but also in space, in order to make this adventure into a project that constitutes a total engagement as much for the artists as for the site in which the artworks appear.
The program Dessins, projects… reveals the desire of the “curator” to share with the public artistic thought that is engaged in investing and transforming the site of his private space, L’appartement 22, into a shared place in “cooperation” with the artists and the public. It is a space that imposes itself onto the visitor with its position and history, but which remains difficult to overcome the volume of its environs. It sometimes suffices to activate a wall or a bookshelf; at other times, the entire space of L’appartement 22 is invested and transformed in the service of the artworks created or installed therein, serving as a receptacle of wishes, dreams, and utopias.