September 20, 2018 - ifa-Galerie Berlin - Invisible
September 20, 2018

ifa-Galerie Berlin

Abdessamad El Mountassir, Achayef (still), 2018. Video. © the artist.

October 12, 2018–February 3, 2019

Opening: October 11, 7pm
Artists and curator talk: October 12, 11am

ifa-Galerie Berlin
Linienstraße 139/140
10115 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–6pm

T +49 30 28449110

Zainab Andalibe, Kenza Benamour, Hicham Berrada, Mohammed Laouli, Abdessamad El Montassir, Anna Raimondo, Leila Sadel and Anike Joyce Sadiq 

Curated by Alya Sebti, Curatorial Assistant Nikola Hartl

Originally produced for the Dakar Biennale 2018, the exhibition Invisible has been adapted to the context of the Berlin based ifa-Galerie Berlin with new works responding to its research and exhibition programme Untie to Tie (2017–2020). This transdisciplinary programme reflects on the mental and territorial colonial legacies in contemporary societies and their impact on movement, migration and environment.

Invisible is an invitation to re-learn to perceive beyond the margins of the visible.

Today, the visual sense predominates our ways of imagining the world that surrounds us. Contemporary societies are defined by an incessant flow of images whereas the unmanifest has been weeded out of the collective imaginaries, and the spiritual dimension has been dismissed from contemporary concerns. By imposing its “universal” codes and standards, the West relegated the unmanifest to the bottom of its heap. However, today’s Western societies show an emerging quest for spirituality and manifold attempts to reintegrate the unmanifest into everyday life.

If we consider examples of contemporary realities on the African continent, the dialogue between spiritual and material dimensions has at times been collisive, but it has never broken off. The current challenge is to inscribe this coexistence in a dynamic continuity without allowing ourselves to be imprisoned in an outdated, traditionalist vision of an (often self-) exoticised Africa. In his essay "Reinventing African Modernity," Blondin Cissé suggests an approach of reconnecting to broken heritage: “At stake is no longer the question of imprisoning oneself in the dilemma of oneself and the other, nor whether to embrace the outline of a conquering and alienating Western modernity or not, but to deploy a real strategy of emancipation […].”[1] This strategy unfolds through reappropriating spiritual traditions and interweaving them into contemporary realities, channeling the relation of the visible to the invisible.

The presented works offer a dialogue between artistic strategies, each of which integrates unmanifested spiritual dimensions in its own way, by focusing on practices of rituals and myths rooted in everyday life's material realities.

In collaboration with Le Cube (Rabat), the art and research project Attokoussy—consisting of the artists Leila Sadel, Zainab Andalibe, Mohammed Laouli, and Abdessamad El Montassir—endeavours to open a space of translation and rereading on the subject of rites and superstitions in Morocco.

Artist Anna Raimondo bids us to close our eyes and listen to the sea, a place of passage and a metaphor for encounters between coexisting cultures. Through intimate fictions, her project weaves together daily rituals, dreams, and religious renditions related to the sea and its mysteries.

With her series "Reconciliation," Kenza Benamour looks at daily rituals and questions the "spiritual amnesia” of contemporary societies. Her diptych testifies to sacred and profane experiences by revealing the spiritual significance that unites them beyond the cultural constructions that seem to separate them.

The flowers in Hicham Berrada’s Les Fleurs consist of iron particles, which form a magnetic field in a liquid. Berrada considers flowers as metaphors for suffering and perseverance, which multiply without fighting and disappear without complaining. These abilities of the nature that Berrada simulates in his video could also be understood as an anthropological analogy.

With You Never Look at Me From the Place From Which I See You, Anike Joyce Sadiq presents an installation that intertwines different perspectives and that plays with the simultaneity of presence and absence. This piece cannot be perceived in its totality without being aware of one’s own relation to other viewers and one’s own immersion in the environment.

[1] Blondin Cissé, “Réinventer la modernité africaine,” in Achille Mbembe & Felwine Sarr (eds.): Écrire l’Afrique-Monde, Paris, Philipe Rey, 2017, p. 149. Author’s own translation from the French.

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