February 21, 2020 - S.M.A.K. - Charbel-joseph H. Boutros: The Sun is My Only Ally
February 21, 2020


Charbel-joseph H. Boutros, Catwalk, 2019. Metallic structure, wood, paint, museum staff, former exhibition including different art works by the artist, performance. Photo Dirk Pauwels.

Charbel-joseph H. Boutros
The Sun is My Only Ally
February 8–May 10, 2020

Jan Hoetplein 1
9000 Ghent
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 5:30pm–9:30am,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +32 9 323 60 01

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The essence and peculiarity of Charbel-joseph H. Boutros’ practice is sculpting invisibility and treating it as a material. In his oeuvre, invisibility subtly weaves intimate, geographical and political narratives, re-questioning the role of an overtly engaged artist coming from the Middle East. Elusive notions, such as dreams, boundaries, distance, sleep, darkness and place, are all domains that the artist tries to make present. This is often achieved by performing actions that result in, among other things, a sculpture, a video or an installation. The traces of these actions are invisible, but the exhibited artworks are charged with meaning. Charbel-joseph H. Boutros’ oeuvre is like a discreet landscape in which an intimate experience hides a historical and political layer.

For Charbel-joseph H. Boutros each exhibition is a new geography that reformulates reality. At the heart of the exhibition at S.M.A.K. is a restaging of the artist’s recent exhibition The Distance Between Your Eyes and the Sun at the Beirut Art Center. This exhibition, that was part of Home Works 8 and organized by Ashkal Alwan, was closed to the public after its opening on October 17, 2019 due to the uncertain political situation. 

This exhibition is the first extensive solo presentation in Europe of the work of Charbel-joseph H. Boutros. The show will travel to La Criée, centre d’art contemporain, in Rennes and also a book will be released.

Charbel-joseph H. Boutros (b. 1981, Bikfaya, Lebanon) works between Beirut and Paris. He was a researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands and resident at the Pavillon of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Boutros’ work was shown internationally at the 12th Istanbul Biennial, the 3rd Bahia Biennial and the first Yinchuan Biennale. He has exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Punta Della Dogana, Venice; Centre Pompidou, Metz; CCS Bard College, New York; MAM-BA Museum of Modern Art, Salvador; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah and La Criée, centre d’art contemporain, Rennes.

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The Sun is My Only Ally
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