Featuring Assaf Evron, Mimi Amini, Noa Gur, Onur Gökmen and Özgür Atlagan, Rami Maymon, Shirley Wegner and Vooria Aria
The launch of the new art gallery et alia (lat. and others) creates a discourse around other possibilities of imagination. The exhibition Reimagining the Imaginaries presents emerging artists from the Middle East and suggests a different starting point: a place where human history and culture was developed long before the art centres of today came into being.
The exhibition layers history over history, creating a poetic geo-historical collage of places, narratives, and gestures. The video of Onur Gökmen and Özgür Atlagan explores demolished community gardens in Berlin between their deconstruction and the construction of a highway in their place. Paintings of Mimi Amini, damaged by Turkish customs, were re-appropriated by the artist and form the surface for new collages. A historical background is as well the foundation in Rami Maymon’s works. He uses pages from Haim Gamzu’s Hebrew book about ancient paintings and sculptures in Israel and places Matisse-like cut outs to re-imagine the remains of art history. The abstract forms of Assaf Evron that emerge from Aby Warburg’s field notes and photographs are placed on wallpapers with motifs of deserts from the Middle East, whereas Vooria Aria creates a rhythmical relief, that was imprinted with a rope, a material, to which he was drawn since his childhood. Shirley Wegner approaches the landscape from a different vantage point. From her imagination of landscapes of her homeland Israel, she builds three-dimensional models that are subsequently photographed. The implication of the expansion of globalisation is explored in Noa Gur’s video installation, where endless loops of (artistic) labor production show gestures, that produce casts of her own face.
The spaces in-between the layers of images within and of the artworks create a room for the viewer to continue with imagination. The exhibition questions the status quo of his or her story. It opens up a space, where the imaginary can become reality and reality can be re-imagined. The starting point of et alia is a promising one: while the gallery’s first show presents artists from the peripheries, it simultaneously maps its future projects that will move beyond regional and national identity. et alia – and others – is the beginning of a journey that proposes other points of views, other land-scapes, and other discourses from the peripheries to the centres and back again.
Text by Kordula Fritze-Srbic