They were blind, they only saw images
Yvon Lambert, Paris
January 30 - March 8, 2014
Yvon Lambert is pleased to announce They were blind, they only saw images, the first exhibition of mounir fatmi who be held at the gallery from January the 30st to March 8th, 2014. For this occasion, the Moroccan artist will present new works questioning the paradoxes of the representations of the Sacred through identity and controversy. By using numerous media as installation, video, prints or performance, mounir fatmi continues his exploration of different languages; mystical texts of Sufism, essays of Spinoza to the controversial writings of Salman Rushdie.
mounir fatmi highlights his desire to make visible for the spectator the more often paradoxical aspect of our comprehension of images. With this exhibition, he invites us to take part in a travel of senses, going over the simple act of seeing, in a place where the dialog between physical and metaphysical can take place.
The exhibition will start with the projection of the video Sleep Al Naim devoted to Salman Rushdie ; formal reference to the experimental film realized in 1963 by Andy Warhol and representing the poet John Giorno while he is sleeping. Not able to directly meet the british writer, mounir fatmi uses for this video the new technologies of image to create the presence of Rushdie, but also to symbolize the contradictory status of the author, suspended in a kind of physical abandon between vulnerability and quiet force.
Who is Joseph Anton?, work also inspired by Rushdie, shows us the interest of mounir fatmi regarding composite drawings. For this work, ink jet printed on mirror, he uses as a pretext Rushdie’s pseudonym — Joseph Anton — composed with the names of writers Joseph Conrad and Anton Chechkov. By building an unique portrait from faces of the three writers, mounir fatmi creates for the spectator the visual experience of a new identity, the one of a fugitive.
La Divine Illusion, created with the same ink jet technique, superimposes studies drawing from Rorschach test over pages from religious books. With this series of works, mounir fatmi seeks to interrogate the spectator about the idea of absolute truth usually granted to religious text.
Also, the performative sculpture Le Paradoxe de l’unicité will stage an obsolete remolded machine, direct reference to the emblematic work of Kasimir Malevitch, L’aiguiseur de couteau from 1912 which represents the transition between figuration to abstraction. Here, pieces of Arabic calligraphy will be sharp and then put on the floor. With this performance mounir fatmi wants to demonstrate the relation that exits between the official Arabic and holy words, from the Coran. Finally free from its written form — which is anterior to its existence — the religious text finds its potential abstraction back, laying down on the floor the dogmatism of writings.
Jusqu’à preuve du contraire (03) proposes a new adaptation of an installation created by the artist in 2012. Composed with neon tubes on which the 24th Sura from the Koran — called “The Light” — is written, the installation presents itself as an hypnotic source who prints the sacred text on the eyes of the spectator. The eye is here transform with a kinetic effect in a individual memory who projects itself on the world.