mounir fatmi
Officine dell'Immagine, Milano

Transition State, 2017

Transition State

Officine dell’Immagine, Milan

From October 26, 2017 to January 7, 2018

Curator: Silvia Cirelli


The inauguration of the new location of Officine dell'Immagine in via Carlo Vittadini 11, Milan, will feature a solo show of one of the most interesting figures of the international artistic scene. From October 26th 2017 to January 7th 2018, Officine dell'Immagine gallery in Milan will inaugurate its new location in Via Carlo Vittadini 11, hosting the largest solo exhibition ever held in Italy dedicated to mounir fatmi (Tangier, Morocco, 1970). Curated by Silvia Cirelli, the exhibition represents an unprecedented opportunity to explore the artistic career of this celebrated key figure.

Internationally very well known, mounir fatmi is among the protagonists of the current Venice Biennale, where he is participating with two extremely fascinating projects, in the Tunisian Pavilion within "The Absence of Paths" exhibition, and in the NSK State Pavilion. Invited to exhibit at prestigious museums such as the Georges Pompidou Centre, the Brooklyn Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the MAXXI in Rome, his works are part of large public collections including those at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Louis Vuitton Foundation pour la Création in Paris and the Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.

Focusing on topical issues such as identity, multiculturalism and the ambiguity of power and violence, mounit fatmi over the years has managed to constantly reinvent himself, exploring a wide variety of stylistic languages, ranging from video to installation, photography and performance. He follows a narrative pathway that in addition to confirming his remarkable lexical ability, combines personal ingredients and actual testimonies, tracing important passages of contemporary history.

The Milanese exhibition entitled Transition State will trace the distinctive features of his vast poetic synthesis, emphasizing the concept of cultural "hybridization": a combination of prejudices and stereotypes which are first revealed and then discredited, reinforcing an overall vision based on dialogue between religion, science, the ambivalence of language and how these transform over the course of history. Martyrs is a clear example of the power of language over the truth: it is a diptych made of black wooden panels whose surface is sliced by a multitude of lines that seem to move like wounds on a body's skin. The emblematic title plays on the semantic variants of this word, whose meaning has transformed through the course of history. From the ancient Greek word martus, which meant "witness", to the definition of a man who sacrifices himself in the name of faith, up to the present definition in which a martyr is improperly compared to the concept of kamikaze. The theme of martyrdom also returns in the video The Silence of Saint Peter Martyr (2011), with the  rotagonist St. Peter the Martyr, also known as Pietro da Verona, who was a 13th-century priest of the Dominican Order that was atrociously executed because of his strong opposition to heretics. The calm of the scene, where the subject slowly moves his finger and mimics the peaceful gesture of silence, is violently opposed to the audio of the video itself with a disturbing and aggressive background. The inspiration he draws from religious material is reconfirmed in the photographic series Blinding Light (2013), a project with both conceptual and visual manipulation of the so-called "Healing of the Justinian Deacon", a miracle that was also immortalized in a famous painting by Fra Angelico. The story tells of two saints who were famous for their medical skills, Cosmas and Damian, who entered Justinian's room one night and exchanged his sick leg with a healthy leg from a recently deceased Ethiopian man. Upon reawakening, Justinian was surprised to find that his leg had healed, but was of a different colour. Playing with superimposition between the ancient painting and modern surgery scenes, mounir fatmi amazes with his versatile lexical ability, which allows him to tackle major issues with surprising cultural sensitivity, including ethnic identity, hybridization and the notion of diversity. The sensory vision of viewers is then exhorted in the video Technologia from 2010, where the convulsive succession of geometric structures and Arab calligraphic motifs of religious nature give rise to a highly hypnotic process. The spectator struggles to watch while his hearing is also put to the test with harsh noises. The juxtaposition between the object, its use and its cultural significance is central to the installation Civilization (2013): a simple work of art with a pair of black men's shoes placed over a book bearing the inscription "civilization". With these two objects, which are often used to indicate a person's level of civilization, the Moroccan artist questions the seduction of material objects and its deceptive power in contemporary culture.

During the opening ceremony of Thursday, October 26th at 7 pm, a performance at the presence of the artist will be held. It will be built around his installation Constructing Illusions, a participatory work that plays on the equilibrium between imagination and reality: concepts that often mingle with each other until they manage to completely exchange meanings.

Milan, June 2017

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)
Bedford Gallery 2019 Evliyagil Museum 2019Jane Lombard 2019
James Cohan 2019Mathaf 2018MACAAL 2018
Fondation Boghossian 2018Sammlung Philara 2018Nasher Museum of Art 2018
Ellen Noël Art Museum 2018Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea 2018MOCAK 2018
Bozar Center for fine arts 2018Philharmonie de Paris 2018The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 2018
Goodman Gallery 2018Institut Français de Saint Louis 2018Pensacola Museum of Art 2018
Von der Heydt-Kunsthalle 2018Gifu Museum 2017Huntsville Museum of Art 2017
Bandjoun Station 2017Institut des Cultures d’Islam 2017Bellevue Arts Museum 2017
Mudac 2017Primo Marella Gallery 2017Goodman Gallery 2017
MACAAL 2017Museum De Wieger 2017Conrads Gallery 2017
Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière 2017Keitelman Gallery 2017Musée du Pays de Hanau 2017
Château de Servières 2017CEAA 2017Fondazione Fotografia Modena 2017
H&R Block Artspace 2017Bedford Gallery 2016Beijing Today Art Museum 2016
Hôtel des Arts 2016Museum of Old and New Art 2016Labanque 2016
Les Photaumnales 2016Al Maaden 2016Kunsthalle Faust 2016
Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg 2016Archives Nationales 2016Bardo National Museum 2016
Arles 2016Musée d'Art Moderne de Troyes 2016Rotor 2016
Goodman Gallery 2016Musée Bartholdi 2016Institut d’Art Contemporain 2016
Santander Art Gallery 2016Brandts & Viborg Kunsthal 2016Fondazione VIDEOINSIGHT 2015
A Tale of a Tub 2015Contemporary Istanbul 2015ADMAF 2015
Goodman Gallery 2015Keitelman Gallery 2015Galeria Municipal do Porto 2015
Fabra i Coats 2015AMOCA 2015Monastère Royal de Brou 2015
CAC La Traverse 2015FRAC Franche-Comté 2015ZKM 2015
The National Library 2015Station 2015La FabriC - Fondation Salomon 2015
Van Abbemuseum 2015The Brooklyn Museum 2015MMP+ 2015
Sharjah Museum 2015Kamel Lazaar Foundation 2015Sextant & + 2015
Gwangju Museum of Art 2014QAGOMA 2014N.B.K. 2014
CAyT Centro de Arte y Technologia 2014Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery 2014Station 2014
Institut du Monde Arabe 2014Art Gallery of Western Australia 2014Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 2014
Palais de Tokyo 2014L'art dans les chapelles 2013MAD Museum 2013
Marseille - Provence 2013V&A Museum 201330 ans des FRAC 2013
MAC Marseille 2013MAXXI 2013Museu de Arte Moderna de Salvador de Bahia 2012
Institut du Monde Arabe 2012Edge of Arabia 2012Apexart 2012
B.P.S. 22 2012Dorsky Gallery 2012International Center of Graphic Arts 2012
Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art 2011Fondation Blachère 2011Brooklyn Museum 2011
Dublin Contemporary 2011Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts 2011Museum on the Seam 2011
Tri Postal Lille 2011Meeting Point 6 2011The New School 2010
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil 2010Fondazione Fotografia Modena 2010Aargauer Kunsthaus 2010
KAdE 2010Kunst Museum Bochum 2010Moscow museum of modern art 2010
Art Gallery of Ontario 2010Fondation Gulbenkian 2009Centro de Arte de Santa Monica 2009
Beirut Art Center 2009Salina Art Center 2009Kunstverein Medienturm Ilz 2008
Te Papa museum 2008Studio Museum Harlem 2008Haus der Kunst 2008
Centre Pompidou 2008CAAM 2008Centro de Arte de Santa Monica 2008
Johannesburg Art Gallery 2007CAC Le Parvis 2006CAPC musée d'art contemporain 2006
Bank Galerie 2006Les Abattoirs 2006Moderna museet 2006
Mori art museum 2006Wereldmuseum 2005Centre Pompidou 2005
The Stenersen Museum 2005Saw gallery 2005Konstmuseum 2005
Hayward Gallery 2005Museum Kunst Palast 2004Tri Postal Lille 2004
2nd international contemporary art meeting 2003Espacio C 2002O.N.A. Foundation 1999
CAC Castres 1999Musée des beaux-arts de Dôle 1999Musée 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