ABDELLAH KARROUM presents JF_ JH individualities* with Safaa Erruas Younès Rahmoun from 10 October to 27 November 2002
JF_ JH individualities with Safaa Erruas and Younès Rahmoun.
10 October to 27 November 2002
The exhibition JF_JH (individualities) brings together artworks by two young Moroccan artists. The work of Safaa Erruas and Younès Rahmoun invests the space of this private site (apartment) until 27 November 2002. The apartment is an intimate and minimal space, perceived as such by the creators who are there in residence in order to take the time for an expedition or an exhibition. Numerous exhibition projects have already taken as their subject research expeditions into territories far from those of the cultural industry and the fields formatted by contemporary art. The apartment is destined to these interdisciplinary projects (fine arts, dance, poetry, video…) and will be open to all, free of charge.
The conversations that took place between the artists and myself in order to prepare the first exhibition in the apartment in Rabat were like preparing a screenplay. We imagined: how to invent visual situations from conceptual ideas? How to operate an installation that will bring together diverse elements into the same space… How to show the artworks and create a structure that invites the public to participate beyond the proposed images, to an aesthetic of passages? From the point of view of history, JF_JH is like a film in the making, arising from many stories, those of each individual participant and the histories of our invitees as well as the histories of those who threaten our movements…None of these encounters would have been possible without the affirmation of individual projects and the growing desire for intimate utopias in the external world.
The generic title of JF_JH (individualities) affirms our point of view by emphasizing the original character of the works presented here and the exhibition’s situation itself. Individualities to affirm the “I” and the idea according to which each takes risks in the first person. These are projects by a female artist and a male artist invited to share a private space… The individual is at the forefront of the responsibilities assumed, on the one hand, in inviting a couple of “strangers” into a private space far from the view of the community and, on the other hand, in the managing of this space by each of the artists. From this situation, the artworks emerge… Correspondences between the exhibition site and each of the contributors are evident: the site is tracked, attacked, transformed, and lived like a construction site that opened the path of new territories for possible encounters between the private and the public, between the intimate, the image constructed therein, and its translation in the space of communication.
In the countries referred to as “developing,” the forms of art have surpassed the conventions of language. Artists increasingly adopt exhibition modes implicated and based in the exchange and the participation of the subject-viewer. Younès Rahmoun and Safaa Erraous are part of this young generation of artists implicated in a consciousness of the role of art in the development of people and society. The two artists share their decision to forbid representations of the world in images, but beyond representation, they certainly practice presentation and re-presentation with an acute consciousness and insistence. Despite the absence of artifice in these artworks, the symbolic dimension is evident in the impact of the objects on the memory of those who see them!
In his research on “universal forms,” Younès Rahmoun would propose to surpass the context (conventional references) for an existence “with” others. The found forms would permit conversations with other artists or simply with the public. The artwork entitled “Cafane” that Younès Rahmoun presents in JF_JH is an allegorical work that pays homage to the resistant strength of oppressed children (victims of war, of traces of war, of famine…); it is a piece with the proportions of a child’s body and is part of a series of works implicated in a critical look at the world. “Cafane” is also a work of mourning in the sense that expression in the language of art is also about the exteriorization of the violence in the middle of the sensible vehicle that are the forms of art. The artist places us before an installation that is both violent and luminous, an image tied to the world’s monstrous current affairs and to the dream of humanism’s lesson that could carry the artist’s project.
With this same consciousness, Safaa Erruas interrogates the universe of intimate activities of thought and of materialized dreams… In placing objects in danger, she interrogates relationships of others to objects, notably women for whom these are the elements of survival. The artists thus creates and ambiguity of judgment. Safaa’s artwork makes certain feminine activities appear; she claims a fragile character with untouchable and unsupportable images of violence. For Safaa there is an obsession that translates into “… the idea of wanting to reveal the immaterial dimension of materials.” Everything is held with a great lightness, a fragile situation of opposed elements; razor blades are surrounded by fine medical bands and suspended with sharp pins from the walls of the “bedroom” (gallery). A beautiful situation born from a risky activity! The repetitive gesture of bandaging makes one forget the danger of the materials; it sometimes happens that the artist injures herself in her act! She becomes conscious of the danger of this routine situation. If routine situations must exist, those who create and maintain them must continually justify them. Safaa returns to her consciousness in the trap of the elements she manipulates and forbids herself to touch…
The aesthetic of passages displaces the art from the place of communication to sharing its desires. The practices proposed are like crossings of bodies and thoughts, of bodies thought or not thought. The artists propose passages through the installation of objects and images, inevitably passing through the experience of the body, bodies, and passages with thought, our own and that of another… The aesthetic of passages does not propose recipes but structures encounters of diverse elements, between humans, images, and environments, situations that generate poetic visions and states of being in the world, becoming an artwork, experiencing the test, proof to present… in order to live!
“Work, all work is to be done in empty spaces, between the waves of other waves, those that could perhaps appeal to all of the senses…” A.K. (notebook #3, 2002)
*JF_JH stands for jeune femme, jeune homme, or young woman, young man.