mounir fatmi: Whispered Stories of Forgotten Wires

mounir fatmi: Whispered Stories of Forgotten Wires

Piero Atchugarry Gallery

mounir fatmi, Whispered Stories of Forgotten Wires, 2023.

September 15, 2023
mounir fatmi
Whispered Stories of Forgotten Wires
September 23–November 11, 2023
Piero Atchugarry Gallery
Magazzini Van Axel
Fondamenta Zattere ai Saloni, Dorsoduro 47
30123 Venice
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–1pm,
Tuesday–Saturday 2–7pm

Exhibiting for the first time at Piero Atchugarry Gallery, newly represented artist, mounir fatmi (b. 1970), presents his first solo-exhibition in Miami, Whispered Stories of Forgotten Wires. Focusing on topical issues such as identity, multiculturalism, methods of communicative correspondence and the ambiguity of linguistic codes, mounir fatmi projects his own cultural realm onto shared emotional universes that find fundamental narrative consistency in the evolutionary concept of memory. Without dialogue, without communication, memory would not spread, and when it does not spread, memory loses its strength. For fatmi, the power of language, investigated as a sort of participatory experience, becomes an anthropological matter, because it reflects cultural stratification.

The history and evolution of communication have significant meaning for the artist and are often evoked through new interpretations of information technologies presented as visual metaphors. By using materials such as antenna cable, typewriters and VHS tapes, mounir fatmi elaborates an experimental archeology that questions the world and the role of the artist in a society in crisis. This tendency is epitomized by the projects such as Roots (2015–19), Kissing Circles (2010–11), and The Year Zero. Notoriously utilized for the dissemination of data, the coaxial cables employed for these pieces stand as metaphors for connection and transmissibility between people and things.

A stylistic grammar based on the paradox of deceptive manipulation also recurs in the immersive work Oil, Oil, Oil, Oil. Here, the use of the igal (or agal), a common male accessory in the Arabian Peninsula—is added to the artist’s noted predilection for circular shapes. A scenographic intensity is emphasized by the olfactory perception of the black paint—symbolizing oil—in which the igals have been soaked. This menacing, disturbing resonance is how mounir fatmi tackles the complex question of insufficient energy resources, unfortunately frequently caused by political powers motivated solely by profits, instead of necessary global and social responsibility. 

The exhibition closes with the new and never seen piece (also source of the exhibition’s title) Whispered Stories of Forgotten Wires (2023). Despite its stylistically familiar use of coaxial cables this work represents a structural rarity: for the first time we participate in a personal and confidential testimony—that of mounir fatmi. Wireless headphones are suspended among parallel rows of cables, inviting the viewers to listen to intimate episodes from the artist’s life, just like pages of a diary read aloud. The artist projects his memories, his emotions, traces of his life, and above all, he makes us participate and immerse ourselves in them. For mounir fatmi, art is the way to process experiences, to cope with life, to keep a memory alive. He stores it, shapes it, and works it. He obsessively returns to it, preserves it, and then spreads it, because everything is connected, everything has a value only if it is shared. —Silvia Cirelli, Curator

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Piero Atchugarry Gallery
September 15, 2023

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