told / untold / retoldTold / Untold / Retold: 23 stories of journeys through time and place
Venue: Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art
Dates: December 30, 2010 – May 28, 2011
Told / Untold / Retold: 23 stories of journeys through time and place will present new works commissioned by Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art from 23 contemporary artists with roots in the Arab world. The most ambitious museum exhibition of contemporary art ever presented in the Arab world, Told / Untold / Retold will include painting, sculpture, photography, video, multimedia installations and interactive digital art. The participating artists are Adel Abidin, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Buthayna Ali, Ahmed Alsoudani, Ghada Amer, Kader Attia, Lara Baladi, Wafaa Bilal, Abdelkader Benchamma, Mounir Fatmi, Lamia Joreige, Amal Kenawy, Jeffar Khaldi, Hassan Khan, Youssef Nabil, Walid Raad, Khalil Rabah, Younès Rahmoun, Steve Sabella, Marwan Sahmarani, Zineb Sedira, Khaled Takreti, and Akram Zaatari. Told / Untold / Retold is curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the co-founders of Art Reoriented, a curatorial platform focusing on contemporary art from the Middle East.
Told / Untold / Retold is a collection of 23 stories each vividly expressed in a new art work. Some stories are "Told," evoking autobiographical accounts and nostalgia for the things that were. Other stories are "Untold," anticipating an imagined future that speaks of things that could be. And there are those that are "Retold," proposing an alternative narrative to the things that are. Central to each story is the use of time as a concrete compositional element and the reflection on the act of journeying, a condition that has come to describe the rampant fluidity of today's society.
In discussing the curatorial theme of the exhibition, Bardaouil and Fellrath said, "Today's artists are in constant transmigration across a diversity of cities and locations, yet never escaping redundant geographical labels through which their work is misconstrued. They are in perpetual metamorphosis, in a state of 'in-betweenness'. These journeys occur not only in place, but also in time. When you move and leave things behind, you remember, recollect and reconstruct, but you also reorient and redirect yourself. These are all acts into which time is intricately weaved. This explains why time is often a significant formalistic component within contemporary artistic practice. In that sense, Told / Untold / Retold is a subversive confrontation, celebrating a willful act of uprooting that is reflective of the transient condition of our world."
Checklist of Select Artworks
mounir fatmi , b. 1970 in Tangiers. Lives and works in Paris and Tangiers.
Modern Times, A History of the Machine, 2010
Sculptures in steel and video installation, dimensions variable
Jeffar Khaldi, b. 1964 in Saida. Lives and works in Dubai and Beirut
Fade Away, 2010
Oil on canvas, a series of 1 diptych and 4 paintings, dimensions variable
Khaled Takreti, b. 1964 in Damascus. Lives and works in Paris
Acrylic and collage on canvas, 6 panels 195 cm x 130 cm each
Acrylic and collage on canvas, 4 panels 180 cm x 180 cm each
Youssef Nabil, b. 1972 in Cairo. Lives and works in New York
You Never Left, 2010
One Film and a series of hand colored gelatin silver prints, dimensions variable
Khalil Rabah, b. 1961 in Jerusalem. Lives and works in Ramallah
Multimedia installation, dimensions variable
Walid Raad, b. 1967 in Chbanieh. Lives and works in New York
Views from Outer Compartment to Inner Compartment
Painted high-density foam.
From Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World, 2010 Multimedia installation comprising of five bodies of work, dimensions variable
Adel Abidin, b. 1973 in Baghdad. Lives and works in Helsinki
Three Love Songs, 2010
Three-Channel video and sound installation