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My future is in my past and my past is my present - Mounira Al Solh, Tudor Bratu, Lado Darakhvelidze and Foundland Collective

Project Spaces Arti et Amicitiae

Rokin 112
1012LB Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 6245134

Open Tue - Sun / 12-18 hrs

Exhibition 22 Apr — 21 May

Opening 21 Apr, 20-22 hrs


Foundland Collective, Ground plan drawings, 2014 (photo Julie Jamora)

The exhibition ‘My future is in my past and my past is my present’ shows work from artists who live in the Netherlands but come from (former) conflict zones like the Caucasus, Lebanon and Syria. In the works selected for this exhibition memories of their homeland; their stories and those of their families and friends are depicted in drawings, paintings, pictures and multi-disciplinary installations. 

By sharing these personal stories in a compelling but sometimes also comical manner, a universal story of political conflict, migration and moblity is told. They have experienced which unexpected shifts in one’s existence can occur as a result of global/political decisions and each seeks to restore the rift by reconstructing a connection between their former and newly found home. Worlds which appear to be disconnected are thus connected. Our current polarized world, full of conflict, aches for artistic forms of diplomacy there where political is difficult to be found. 

Lauren Alexander (Cape Town, 1983) and Ghalia Elsrakbi (Damascus, 1978) from Foundland Collective investigate in Escape Routes and Waiting Rooms personal stories of mobility and migration around Syria.

In the exhibition in Arti et Amicitiae they will show a collection of ground plans of houses from this project. They asked displaced people from different backgrounds to sketch their housing situation prior to departure from Syria, as a way to depict and make visible what has left behind. Juxtaposed with the instability and reality of their displaced situation, this collection of ground plans of houses enables the viewer to consider emergency living habitation as an involuntary yet permanent reality. Many of the displaced people no longer have visuals or evidence of the places they left behind. By retracing the living structure of the home, one remembers the permanence, ritual and structure embedded within that place.

I Want to be a Party of Mounira al Sohl (Beiroet, 1978) consists of embroideries and paintings in which she tells particular stories of her childhood, and of other family members. She is personalizing disasters, and looking back at specific massacres and wars through a specific object that was sold by a family member, in order to survive a certain disaster: selling objects enabled people to flee, or to survive a few more weeks under curfew etc.

In addition to this, she secretly borrowed at times aesthetics of current Facebook pages selling used items to Syrians and locals in Lebanon. The second-hand Facebook market exposes in her opinion, like her work, the ongoing impact of the war on the people, who still have not recovered from past wars and yet are suffering from the current ones and those to come.

Lado Darakvelidze (Kutaiasi, 1977) deals in his work with social and political changes and represents these in personal narratives. His series Mapping the Caucasus with you and Memory Builders stems from the desire to begin a dialogue between the people of the Northern and Southern Caucasus. Due to ongoing conflicts in this region many modes of communication were not possible for years. Lado Darakvelidze grew-up in Georgia in the 1970’s and 1980’s, a rather peaceful period in the Caucausus. By sharing with others his childhood memories of this period in large drawings he tries to reconnect and use these drawings as a mean to instigate communication between the divided Caucasians.

The Brutality of Fact, an installation by Tudor Bratu (Bucharest, 1977) is about the fear for the metaphorical and the real ‘other’. In a slideshow Bratu combines images and text about his own migration history and that of his grandmother with historical events, politics, architecture and interviews with immigrants he met during train rides in East-Europe in the summer of 2015 at the height of the European migrant crisis. A maquette shows a road in a desert landscape. Along this road there are walls, these walls are direct translations of existing walls around the world. This maquette is for Bratu an image and document of inequality, separation, violation and traumas which are happening on a daily basis.

With many thanks to the sponsors and members of Arti et Amicitiae who made this exhibition possible.


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