mounir fatmi
monographies | monographs
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40. Art of War | 40. Art of War
  • Art of War, 2021


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"ADN Platform hosts Art of War’s exhibition by mounir fatmi, an extension of Light & Fire solo show at ADN Galeria. Art of War takes the homonymous Chinese book’s title on military strategy historically attributed to Sun Tzu in order to build a personal and contemporary discourse about war and the Role of historiography role, bringing to light desires, doubts and fears and inviting the viewer to assume a critical position away from conventions and dogmas. After the ideological, political and literary connections developed in Light and Fire exhibition, mounir fatmi links himself here to the body, to the human being caught by ideologies. Art of War might be interpreted as a strategy not only of territorial conquest but rather of bodies and individuals conquests.

Being war the exhibition’s driving force, the selected works envisage the experience and interpretation of different agents and periods. The same photo file Art of War (2014), chosen as the main broadcasting exhibition’s image, portrays a group of scientists and thinkers exiled during World War II, either because of their ethnic origin or because they disagreed with the Nazi policy. Under this apparently pleasant group portrait, the tragedy of a chapter that damaged human history is hidden.

In order to build his discourse, fatmi accompanies produced works with archival materials and posters, reactivating the historic document into a contemporary context. The original poster from the Italian film La Pelle (1981) invites us to make a connection between the pages of the journalist Curzio Malaparte’s homonymous novel, which inspires Liliana Cavani’s film, and the human being growing thirst for power. The visionary Malaparte’s look describes the misery in which the city of Naples is immersed after war, a place where the reality of the streets in ruins and another hidden reality under the appearance of its devastating context coexists, a complex and historical reality that emerges and overflows into scenes worthy of Brueghel’s painting: A dinner served by an American general in which a mermaid stew is tasted, fish and meat of woman, vaginal blonde wigs made by the Neapolitans to please the Afro-American soldiers.


ADN Galeria, November 2014