THE GROUND (Exhibition): To Remain in the No Longer كیف لا نغرق في السراب
Montreal, February 16th 2023
This week, I called my friend Bouchra and invited her at an exhibition. She already had plans for another one and I decided to go there without knowing anything about it. This is how I ended up at the CCA (Canadian Center of Architecture). To remain in the no longer كیف لا نغرق في السراب is in what I call the Ground( see previous post)
Made by Joyce Joumaa, from February 10th to 28th May 2023. In this documentary film, Joumaa explores Tripoli's (Lebanon) socio-economic crisis and the failure of architecture through her 16mm and digital film. Her work as a curator was the most authentic work I've seen lately.
The film goes through these interviews showing how residents are emotionally connected to public spaces. All these fragments of memories are captured by the film in such a marvelous way that we feel the nostalgia, the government's inaction and lack of understanding. As a spectator, I was waiting for something to be triggered by but it wasn't the case and I appreciated it. These last years, we were carried away by a turbulence of social media pictures. Thankfully, she threw this film at us gently and it worked. Because today, it's hard to win an audience with ingenuity, but Images from the past and present through different voices gave us the timelessness of this subject, showing us post colonial effects in a lifetime, how it transforms a person and the collective to the core. The silence between sequences in a little black cube we were in, create the impression of emptiness in stagnation: What's next ? Probably nothing, the public was waiting for the culmination of a revolution, an answer to endless problems. Joyce Joumaa is the recipient of the Emerging Curator Residency Program.
I have to put this film in The Ground. In fact, CCA is a Canadian institution and the emerging curator residency is a way to have a mentorship (skills) and means to produce a project, after being in competition with other participants. In this dynamic, as a Black or BIPOC artist, a grant is a possibility to be paid for our art and use it to talk about social issues(especially Montrealers). But you and I still wonder...Is our art can be decolonial by receiving help by these institutions ? “The urgency to act and survive cut this endless conversation”, my boomer african father will say. “We can envision a future in different initiatives with a common purpose, and I still try to find mine as we all do, let me try to find a book about it”, I'll answer back.
كیف لا نغرق في السراب To Remain in the No Longer
When I saw the building, I though it was a beautiful place, young artists mainly well-dressed with a 80s style in crowded corridors, Is this going to be a predictable situation ? The public is important in exhibitions, the signature of an artist is also in the community they attract especially in Montreal. I believe in critics, critics are the shadow of growth, as a person and as a group.
There were also people who seems to be more interested in the political situation explored by Joyce Joumaa.