January 15, 2004 - WITTE ZAAL - l’eau et les rêves
January 15, 2004

l’eau et les rêves

l'eau et les rêves
20 January - 14 February 2004

Posteernestraat, Ghent, Belgium


preview 19th January 20 pm

curated by Michel Dewilde

Co-ordinator: Dirk Manesse | T: +32 9 225 42 90 | F: +32 9 223 46 36

image: Miki Kratsman

l’Eau et les Reves

curated by Michel Dewilde

Belu Simion-Fainaru | Adiv Daud | Eliya Bin-Abu-Snan | Miki Kratsman | Avital Bar-Shay | Samira Wahabby

From 20th January to 14th February 2004, the White Hall in Ghent will be showing its fiftieth project, the l’Eau et les Reves exhibition, bringing together work by several Israeli and Palestinian artists. At the present time, the words Israeli and Palestinian immediately summon up images of an explosive, primarily political situation, which a critical observer would suspect the White Hall of taking up in order to mount a sensational ‘exhibition of confrontation’. An exhibition in which the artists will stand opposite each other not only with their sharpened artistic knives at the ready…

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The curator Michel Dewilde has clearly aimed for an integrated approach. A theme was, on a sound basis, sought – and found – which would connect rather than divide all these Middle Eastern artists, and this was the broad problem of water shortage, which has plagued the region since time immemorial. So this exhibition does not attempt to set up a thematic, social or political project on water, but, under this flag – and under that of contemporary art – to explore several deeper social, religious and physical boundaries.

One of our partners in this is the internationally-known Israeli artist Belu Simion-Fainaru, who, in cooperation with the Palestinian artists Adiv Daud and Eliya Bin-Abu-Snan, comes up with an all-embracing scientific-artistic project for water purification that is practicable for the whole of the Middle East. The controversial documentary photographer Miki Kratsman – also included in the exhibition – guarantees a punchy visual analysis of Israeli action in the occupied territories. In addition, the Jewish artist Avital Bar-Shay shows her own artistic interpretation of the promised land as a ‘submerged continent’. Lastly, the Druse photographer Samira Wahabby was asked to do a photo-report on the symbolic significance of the mystery of water in the Druse community.

So, under the ‘simple’ guise of water, this exhibition has found an approach that transcends the various political, religious and social backgrounds of the artists and their origins, but without becoming bound up in a purely artistic project. After all, these artists’ proposals regarding the water issue are highly concrete and practical, as well as confrontational, and this should have an effect far beyond the walls of the exhibition room.

In fact as far as possible.

As far as the Middle East, for example.

Open from Tuesday to Friday, from 12.30 pm to 6 pm and on Saturday from 2 pm to 5 pm

Info dirk.manesse@sintlucas.wenk.be

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