mounir fatmi
Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis

All the World's a mosque, 2015

All the World’s a Mosque

Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis

28-31 May 2015


"To pray or not to pray", "Being inside or outside of the mosque":  this seems to be the dilemma that falsely divides Muslims between good and bad believers. More than ever, the contemporary era is engulfed in this opposition which leads to hints of hatred and oftentimes tragic consequences between those who want to impose their vision of religion and those who reject any form of compulsory belief; between those who simply have faith and those who use it as an ideology; between those who conceive the belief as a ritual and those who define it as a spirituality above all.

The exhibition "All the World's a Mosque" examines the possible breakaway of the sacred space, and the probable sacralisation of the secular space. The mosque would be everywhere, and faith a matter of the heart rather than an enclosed space.

Let there be no mistake about the title. "All the World's a Mosque" is not an attempt to annex the entire earth to a rite or to a Muslim space. Nor is it a proselytizing work. It aims to make of the world a single place of prayer dedicated to the God of all!

It is a way out of narrow spaces and into an open space dedicated to spirituality. It is a way to desecrate closed spaces and turn them into open, diverse and lively spaces.

If the world were a mosque, what takes place today would not occur. There would not be so much hatred, war and conflict. The mosque is first and foremost a place of peace and mediation. It restores the social bond into its stronger and more communicative form. It makes way to the voice of God, which can only be a voice of love for humankind.

If the world were a mosque, we would hear its prayers, which would be above all a consecration of humankind. We would see a flood of those who carry in their hearts a love for their neighbor. Those with enough goodness to support the weak and unfortunate, enough tolerance to accept believers and unbelievers, those who belong or do not belong to them.

It is also, beyond the physical space of worship, a way to make a man of faith an appeal to all men. A way of breaking walls and narrow spaces and turning them into an open air space dedicated to spirituality. One way to desecrate closed spaces and turn them into open spaces of life, encounter and diversity.

Islam has no clergy. Nor mediators. And we can in all places, including outside the mosque, establish a connection with the divine. One can pray on sand or on stone, in a rich house or on a mat on the ground. Any place on earth can be a mosque and prayer is wherever there is the Face of God.

To say this is to affirm and recover the greatness and tolerance of Islam, its "secular" side, which makes Muslims free and responsible being; and which made religion a matter between God and his creature. It is restoring the values that this religion carries: freedom of belief, freedom of movement, and freedom of the relationship with God. This is the "philosophical" bet of the exhibition "The Whole World's a Mosque": an exhibition conceived as an installation in the form of 22 containers, which, assembled piece by piece, forms simultaneously an artistic space a place of worship. Set in the heart of Carthage, between the archaeological ruins of the Roman Empire and close to the ancient theater, this facility is knowingly between yesterday and today, between History and contemporary era. While rooted in "the past" of our Carthaginian roots, it opens up to a "future" of conscience, sensitive to individual liberties and concerned about trust in humankind and faith in God. The contrast between the metallic material and the ancient stone, between the industrial building and the ruins of ancient times, is indeed intentional.

Just as much as the scenography that borrows more from popular theater than the traditional solemnity of the sacred space. Finally, the omnipresence and the impersonality of the physical container recall the absence of that which is nonetheless essential, namely faith in its most intangible and personal way.

Resorting to kitsch products, bright surfaces, textures and other interactive installations, "All the World's a Mosque" engages the view and work of 22 artists from North Africa and the Middle East. All artists are asked to appeal to the five senses in the same way that Islam calls upon five pillars. Through their performances, they are meant to invite the visitors on a journey of pursuit, whose goal is not so much to ask "where" we pray, but more importantly, "why" we pray?

That is if the design such as the scenography of the exhibition follows the idea of the pilgrimage, every path taken being a way to "connect" to others, each step a way to seek the spiritual in us. Just like this roaming pursuit for the essential, the exhibition will follow its own "pilgrimage" too, being called to depart and resurrect in other places and in different cities.



Adel Abidin (Iraq)

Raja Aissa (Tunisia)

Ammar Al Attar (United Arab Emirates)

Nasser Al Salem (Saudi Arabia)

Rashed Al Shahai (Bahrain)

Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon)

Lina Ben Rejeb (Tunisia)

Omar Bey (Tunisia)

Zoulikha Bouabdellah (Algeria)

Mounir Fatmi (Morocco)

Aicha Filali (Tunisia)

Nicene Kossentini (Tunisia)

Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia)

Maha Malluh (Saudi Arabia)

Moataz Nasr (Egypt)

Mahmoud Obaidi (Iraq)

Noutayel (Tunisia)

Yazid Oulab (Algeria)

Wael Shawky (Egypt)

Haythem Zakaria (Tunisia)


Expositions personnelles I Solo shows (selection)
Ceysson & Bénétière 2019Wilde Gallery 2019CDAN Museum 2018
Göteborgs Konsthall 2018Art Front Gallery 2017Officine dell'Immagine 2017
Galerie De Multiples 2017Analix Forever Gallery 2017Jane Lombard Gallery 2017
Galerie Delacroix 2017Goodman Gallery 2017Lawrie Shabibi 2017
Analix Forever Gallery 2017Maisons des Arts du Grütli 2017ADN Platform 2016
Keitelman Gallery 2016Labanque 2016MMP+ 2016
MAMCO 2015MIAMIBUS 2015Analix Forever 2015
CCC Tours 2014ADN Galeria 2014ADN Platform 2014
Analix Forever 2014Yvon Lambert 2014Museum Kunst Palast 2013
Keitelman Gallery 2013Paradise Row 2013Institut Français de Casablanca 2013
Galerie Fatma Jellal 2013Analix Forever 2013Goodman Gallery 2012
Shoshana Wayne Gallery 2012 Lombard-Fried Projects 2012Galerie Conrads 2011
Fondazione Collegio San Carlo 2011Galerie Hussenot 2011AKBank Sanat 2011
Galerie Hussenot 2010Galerie Conrads 2009FRAC Alsace 2009
Galerie Delacroix IFM 2008Creux de l'enfer 2008Galerie Ferdinand van Dieten 2007
Musée national Pablo Picasso 2007Shoshana Wayne Gallery 2007La maison rouge 2007
Lombard Freid projects 2007Bank galerie 2006CAC d'Istres 2005
Espace des arts Colomiers 2004 CAC Le Parvis 2004Migros museum 2003
Biennales & Triennales I Biennials, Triennials (selection)
13eme Biennale de Dakar 20187th Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 20181er Biennale de Rabat 2018
57th Venice Biennale 20177eme Biennale d'Architecture de Shenzhen 201711eme Biennale de Bamako 2017
15eme Biennale d'art contemporain Alios! 2017Biennale Poznan 2016Setouchi Triennale 2016
10èmes Rencontres de Bamako 20155th Thessaloniki Biennale 201516th Media art Biennale Wro 2015
1st Trio Biennale, Rio de Janeiro 20152nd Bodrum Biennial 2015Fotofest Biennial 2014
5th Auckland Triennial 201310th Dakar Biennial 2012 White House Biennial 2013
Manif d'Art 6 20123rd Thessaloniki Biennial 201111th Lyon Biennial 2011
54th Venice Biennial 2011XIIth Cairo Biennial 20101st Mediterranean Biennial of Haifa 2010
Port Izmir 2, international triennial of contemporary art 20108th Dakar Biennial 2010Biennale Cuvée 2010
Xth Lyon Biennial 2009Art Tel Aviv 20098èmes Rencontres de Bamako 2009
1st Brussels Biennial 2008Pontevedra Biennial 200824th Biennial Memorial of Nadezda Petrovic 2007
1st Luanda Triennial 2007 52th Venice Biennial 20078th Sharjah Biennial 2007
2nd Seville Biennial 2006 Gwangju biennial 2004 7th Dakar Biennial 2006
4th Dakar Biennial 20007th Biennal Art Media 1999
Expositions collectives I Group shows (selection)
Maison Populaire 2019Bedford Gallery 2019 Evliyagil Museum 2019
Jane Lombard 2019James Cohan 2019Mathaf 2018
MACAAL 2018Fondation Boghossian 2018Sammlung Philara 2018
Nasher Museum of Art 2018Ellen Noël Art Museum 2018Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea 2018
MOCAK 2018Bozar Center for fine arts 2018Philharmonie de Paris 2018
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 2018Goodman Gallery 2018Institut Français de Saint Louis 2018
Pensacola Museum of Art 2018 Von der Heydt-Kunsthalle 2018Gifu Museum 2017
Huntsville Museum of Art 2017Bandjoun Station 2017Institut des Cultures d’Islam 2017
Bellevue Arts Museum 2017Mudac 2017Primo Marella Gallery 2017
Goodman Gallery 2017MACAAL 2017Museum De Wieger 2017
Conrads Gallery 2017Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière 2017Keitelman Gallery 2017
Musée du Pays de Hanau 2017Château de Servières 2017CEAA 2017
Fondazione Fotografia Modena 2017H&R Block Artspace 2017Bedford Gallery 2016
Beijing Today Art Museum 2016Hôtel des Arts 2016Museum of Old and New Art 2016
Labanque 2016Les Photaumnales 2016Al Maaden 2016
Kunsthalle Faust 2016Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg 2016Archives Nationales 2016
Bardo National Museum 2016Arles 2016Musée d'Art Moderne de Troyes 2016
Rotor 2016Goodman Gallery 2016Musée Bartholdi 2016
Institut d’Art Contemporain 2016Santander Art Gallery 2016Brandts & Viborg Kunsthal 2016
Fondazione VIDEOINSIGHT 2015A Tale of a Tub 2015Contemporary Istanbul 2015
ADMAF 2015Goodman Gallery 2015Keitelman Gallery 2015
Galeria Municipal do Porto 2015Fabra i Coats 2015AMOCA 2015
Monastère Royal de Brou 2015CAC La Traverse 2015FRAC Franche-Comté 2015
ZKM 2015The National Library 2015Station 2015
La FabriC - Fondation Salomon 2015Van Abbemuseum 2015The Brooklyn Museum 2015
MMP+ 2015Sharjah Museum 2015Kamel Lazaar Foundation 2015
Sextant & + 2015Gwangju Museum of Art 2014QAGOMA 2014
N.B.K. 2014CAyT Centro de Arte y Technologia 2014Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery 2014
Station 2014Institut du Monde Arabe 2014Art Gallery of Western Australia 2014
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 2014Palais de Tokyo 2014L'art dans les chapelles 2013
MAD Museum 2013Marseille - Provence 2013V&A Museum 2013
30 ans des FRAC 2013MAC Marseille 2013MAXXI 2013
Museu de Arte Moderna de Salvador de Bahia 2012Institut du Monde Arabe 2012Edge of Arabia 2012
Apexart 2012B.P.S. 22 2012Dorsky Gallery 2012
International Center of Graphic Arts 2012Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art 2011Fondation Blachère 2011
Brooklyn Museum 2011Dublin Contemporary 2011Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts 2011
Museum on the Seam 2011Tri Postal Lille 2011Meeting Point 6 2011
The New School 2010Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil 2010Fondazione Fotografia Modena 2010
Aargauer Kunsthaus 2010KAdE 2010Kunst Museum Bochum 2010
Moscow museum of modern art 2010Art Gallery of Ontario 2010Fondation Gulbenkian 2009
Centro de Arte de Santa Monica 2009Beirut Art Center 2009Salina Art Center 2009
Kunstverein Medienturm Ilz 2008Te Papa museum 2008Studio Museum Harlem 2008
Haus der Kunst 2008Centre Pompidou 2008CAAM 2008
Centro de Arte de Santa Monica 2008Johannesburg Art Gallery 2007CAC Le Parvis 2006
CAPC musée d'art contemporain 2006Bank Galerie 2006Les Abattoirs 2006
Moderna museet 2006Mori art museum 2006Wereldmuseum 2005
Centre Pompidou 2005The Stenersen Museum 2005Saw gallery 2005
Konstmuseum 2005Hayward Gallery 2005Museum Kunst Palast 2004
Tri Postal Lille 20042nd international contemporary art meeting 2003Espacio C 2002
O.N.A. Foundation 1999CAC Castres 1999Musée des beaux-arts de Dôle 1999
Musée des arts décoratifs 1999  
interventions publiques I public space projects (selection)
metavilla 2015Collateral Project to the 12th Havana Biennial 2015Prison Qara Meknès 2015
Art Paris 2015Analix Forever 2014Sculpture Beach Art Dubai 2012
Le Printemps de Septembre 2012Narracje 4 2012Ivry 2010
FIAC Tuileries 2010 Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2004