Gallery News for Mounir Fatmi
Mounir Fatmi in Geneva
Mounir Fatmi’s Permanent Exiles is a mid-career retrospective bringing together 25 sculptures, installations and films produced since the opening decade of the millennium. According to the gallery statement the exhibition ‘tackles issues of discontinuity, physical and mental detachment and the vulnerability they cause.’ At the Musee d’art Moderne et Contemporaine in Geneva, Switzerland until 10 May
Goodman Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach
The Goodman Gallery attends Art Basel Mail Beach from the 4th to 7th of December at the Miami Convention centre, exhibiting the works by Willem Boshoff, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Mounir Fatmi, Kendell Geers, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Liza Lou, Mikhael Subotzky, Hank Willis Thomas and Jeremy Wafer. This year’s Art Basel Miami Beach’s Art Public sector features work by Goodman Gallery artists Jaar and Thomas while young artists Haroon Gunn-Salie and Gerald Machona both have work on the film sector. Tracey Rose will present a continuous performance piece in the Positions sector where she will be represented by Dan Gunn.
Mounir Fatmi in Tours
The solo exhibition by Mounir Fatmi titled Walking on the Light shows at the Centre de Création Contemporaine in Tours, France, until in 18 January 2015. Group shows exhibiting the work of Fatmi into 2015 include the inaugural exhibition 1914-2014: One Hundred Years of Creation in Morocco at the Musée Mohammed VI in Rabat, Morocco that runs until June 2015; Le Maroc Contemporain at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France that runs until 25 January, 2015; Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and the Maghrebi Diaspora at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford college, until 15 December and Entre Nosotros (Between us) that runs at the Centro de Arte y Technologia, in Zaragoza, Spain, until 28 February 2015.
Mounir Fatmi at Fotofest 2014 Biennial
mounir fatmi will take part in the 2014 Fotofest Biennial in Houston, Texas, under the title View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Video, Photography and Mixed Media Art. Forty-nine leading contemporary Arab artists living and working in 13 countries have been selected to participate in the principal exhibitions, curated by Karin Adrian von Roques and Wendy Watriss. The biennial takes place from 15 March – April 27 2014.
Press for Mounir Fatmi
Mounir Fatmi / La Gazelle / Habib Bourguiba / January - March 2014Mounir Fatmi: L'art de la reconstruction (973 KB)
mounir fatmi / Millennium Film Journal / No. 54My Father Has Lost His Teeth by mounir fatmi (3 MB)
mounir fatmi / Millennium Film Journal / No. 53mounir fatmi's Abstracting Winds by Laura U. Marks (3.3 MB)
mounir fatmi / Drome Magazine No. 19 / Spring-Summer 2011One More Minute of Sun by Barbara Polla (6.1 MB)
mounir fatmi / Art AbsolumentLes Transformations Fondamentales by Pierre-Olivier Rollin (5.2 MB)
Dak'Art 2010 / Nafas Art Magazine / May 2010Dak'Art 2010: Looking back, facing forward? by J. Bouwhuis & K. Winking (217.8 KB)
Mounir Fatmi / Whitehot Magazine / New York / 16 January 2010Mounir Fatmi at Galerie Hussenot by Blaire Dessent (610 KB)
A grassy, rectangular church / Art South Africa / Winter 2010A grassy, rectangular church by James Sey (2.7 MB)
Moroccan-born and Paris-based multimedia artist mounir fatmi presents his first solo exhibition in South Africa, titled Suspect Language, at Goodman Gallery Cape Town in September.
mounir fatmi constructs visual spaces and linguistic games that aim to free the viewer from their preconceptions of politics and religion, and allow them to contemplate these and other subjects in new ways. His videos, installations, drawings, paintings and sculptures bring to light our doubts, fears and desires.
Suspect Language is an exhibition of recent work by mounir fatmi. Upon entering the gallery, the audience is confronted with Sleep Al Naim, a film projection in which a virtual, 3D image of Salman Rashdie, the English writer of Indian origin, is asleep. A fatwa was declared against Rushdie by the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, due to the perceived blasphemy in his novel The Satanic Verses, and the book was banned in most Arab countries. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s experimental film Sleep, the artist chose Rushdie as his main character, showing him asleep, as if in a state between life and death. This is the state that the artist seeks to convey in Suspect Language.
The artist uses censorship as a point of departure, raising doubt in the Quran’s ‘suraths’ (phrases) in In the Absence of Evidence to the Contrary, and writing his manifesto on horse-jumping poles in Obstacles, Coma, Warning.
mounir fatmi questions written text and its visual poetry, highlighting a paradox between its beauty and its violence, its meaning and its shape. In Kissing Circles, inspired by the Frederick Soddy poem The Kiss Precise, he uses coaxial antenna cable to interpret the solution to the Descartes Theorem, and asks: How we can come from a mathematics problem to a language, like a poem?
In Calligraphy of Fire, fatmi celebrates the beauty of calligraphy, and sees fire in the shape of the text, creating an association to a text that burns, that could be censored, but also to a text that has the potential to purify. The work is also a tribute to Brion Gysin, an artist of the Beat Generation who lived in Morocco and whose work was inspired by Arabic calligraphy.
The Game is a series of photographs taken from Francois Truffaut’s 1970 film L’Enfant Sauvage, in which a wild child is taught the rudiments of language through a game. The work is a reference to early anthropological ideas about otherness and the way the “savage” mind understands words and graphic representations, as well as a metaphor for France’s interest in the “other” during the colonial era. The doctor’s incessant note-taking represents the attempt to control, while the implicit violence in the series suggests the explicit violence of imposed authority. Language plays a crucial role in trying to unify doctor and subject, coloniser and colonised.
In Modern Time, A History of the Machine, circular calligraphies are suspended, reminiscent of a system of cogs or a gear mechanism. The title of the piece is inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s celebrated 1936 film, in which Chaplin plays a lowly worker on a factory production line. The modernity of the factory machines is evoked visually by a series of whirring cogs. The curves and arabesques of the calligraphy eclipse the meaning of the words, as if the message is disappearing into the engine of the machine. The words are reanimated in a purely visual way as circular abstract forms, reflecting the circular motion of the animation.
mounir fatmi was born in 1970 in Tangier, Morocco. Solo exhibitions of his work have been shown all over the world, and he has participated in numerous major group exhibitions – including, most recently, the 6th Quebec City Biennial and the 54th Venice Biennale. He lives and works between Paris and Tangier.
GOODMAN GALLERY JOHANNESBURG 28 JANUARY – 26 FEBRUARY 2015
CANDICE BREITZ / ADAM BROOMBERG AND OLIVER CHANARIN / NOLAN DENNIS / MOUNIR FATMI / KENDELL GEERS / DAVID GOLDBLATT/ HAROON GUNN SALIE/ ALFREDO JAAR / MOSHEKWA LANGA / WILLIAM KENTRIDGE / LIZA LOU / MIKHAEL SUBOTZKY /
“Imagine them reconstructing the conceptual framework of our cultural moment from those fragments. What are the parameters of that moment, the edge of that framework?” K Eshun (2003)
Other People’s Memories is a group show which explores the ways in which history and memory exist in the process of making, as well as the process of viewing, and by extension, the relationship between the artist, the artwork and the viewer.
The works included in the exhibition are the result of the artists’ relationship to something which has already happened, so that the artwork becomes an act of insertion, where the artists’ personal history becomes part of the historical, social or cultural moment which is referenced. In some instances the physical presence of the artists and their surroundings is consciously transferred to the artwork.
In Moshekwa Langa’s drawings, the artist uses string, tape and paint to map his memories and encounters. He includes domestic items like salt and wine, which he works into the fibrous paper and permeable string, so that the marks he makes are made viscerally – making overt the artist’s physical presence.
Transferral and human presence is also evoked in the beaded canvases of Liza Lou, who along with her team of skilled Zulu woman beaders, produces visual meditations on imperfect artistic production. The canvases retain traces of sweat, dirt and even blood which are testament to the fragile delicacy of her production and become a site of memory, recording the long struggle and sublime discomfort involved in the act of making.
Mikhael Subotzky’s work Sticky Tape Transfer 03 is formed through a process, developed by the artist, whereby adhesive tape is applied and then removed from images that feature in the artist’s personal history. In this delicate process, the tape picks up pigments and fragments of the original image so that a replica is formed. The pigments and fragments from the image are not all that is transferred onto the tape: dust and grime from the studio also become trapped in the glue, so that the image is made up not only of itself but also from the physical surroundings of the artist. Subotzky’s images then, become a meditation on memory itself. Like Subotzky’s transfers, a memory – each time it is evoked – is revised. Some parts are forgotten and left behind with the splinters and fragments of context replacing them.
The physical presence of the maker is made apparent in Kendell Geers’ work Foiled – where the artist has imprinted a religious figurine of Christ on the Cross on a large sheet of tin foil. Due to the delicate nature of the tin foil, the dents and folds deliberately made by the artists to demarcate the indented image are not the only marks on the material. As Geers manipulates the tin foil to create the image at its centre, his movement is picked up by the material so that the foil retains not only a visual “memory” of the devotional object but also a memory of how it came to be. The exhibition also allows for an exploration of how the artwork exists not only as something which contains the artists’ personal history – which happens in the process of making – but also how the viewer’s own history is projected onto the referred moment during the process of viewing and interpreting. Nolan Oswald Dennis’ work Tunnel 001 investigates the use of fire and what the artist terms “civil burnings” in the historical formation of South Africa.
The work consists of a plywood tunnel, the interior of which is covered in a thin layer of paraffin wax. Historical and personal accounts of how fire and burning existed in the formation of South African independence are carved into the wax. Like the foil in Geers’ work, the brittle yet stiff surface of the wax in Tunnel 001 means that in rewriting the texts, the artist physically changes what was originally written. Mistakes are made and words are scratched out, the wax breaks and obscures words, sentences run into each other and it becomes difficult to determine a precise starting and ending point. The size of the tunnel, which is just high enough to accommodate a human body, means that viewers are unable to gain perspective, and are forced by the physical constraints of the work to look at the carvings as fragments, and read the altered texts in pieces, so that each viewer has a different experience and constructs a different narrative and meaning. Where Dennis replicates and reworks texts onto a new surface, William Kentridge works directly onto archival documents, merging his drawing process into all that is contained by the archival document. Kentridge has worked with pages from an old cash book from East Rand Proprietary mines from 1906. In this way, the artist has worked the writing, texture and marks on the pages of the book into the landscapes – so that the history which the pages record becomes intrinsic to the landscape.
The archive, in this case, is directly altered by the artist’s charcoal landscapes, allowing for a rumination of the effect of the past on the landscape and exploring the tension between the reclaiming of damaged ground by the ever evolving and growing landscape – and the extent to which landscape remembers trauma. While Kentridge explores the extent to which trauma and social injustice is evoked in the landscape,
David Goldblatt considers the ways in which loss and memory are contained within manmade monuments. In his 2014 series, Structures of Dominion and Democracy, Goldblatt continues his reflection on the structures and monuments that frame a particular vision of South African history. The new series concentrates on, but is not entirely devoted to, the period after the fall of apartheid, and features images of makeshift memorials, public monuments, and artworks which memorialize moments of trauma and allow for attempts at national catharsis. The works interrogate the practice of memorializing history and the ideologies that govern this practice. Whereas Goldblatt documents and investigates the ways in which monuments are constructed amongst different groups, Alfredo Jaar works with a historical photograph of Italian artist Lucio Fontana after his return from his native Argentina to Milan in 1946. The image shows Fontana standing amongst the ruins of his studio which was destroyed during World War II. The image, which the artist sourced from the Farabola archive in Rome, has been enlarged to a 2,5 × 2,5 metres square. Beyond the evident display of destruction and loss caused by war, this image marks an extraordinary moment in history where a group of artists and intellectuals were able to overcome years of isolation and devastation and reintroduce Italian culture to the world. This group includes Fontana in visual arts as well as Rossellini, Visconti and De Sica in film, Moravia, Pavese or Ungaretti in literature and the later generation of filmmakers like Antonioni, Bertolucci, Pasolini and artists like Pistoletto, Boetti, Calzolari and countless others who illuminated the cultural scene of Italy and the world.
Jaar first showed this image during the 2013 Venice Biennale as part of his project Venezia, Venezia, which was a call to artists and intellectuals across the globe to rethink the current unbalanced structure of contemporary art display and representations of the world in general. As Jaar points out, “artists create models of thinking the world”. By alluding to the power which culture demonstrated back in 1946, the artist encourages culture to once again overcome the present social, geographical, political, and cultural imbalances still aggravating the world.
Haroon Gunn Salie begins from the point of a South African identity of Diaspora – and a history of colonialism and slavery.
Gunn Salie has produced a metal cut out of the words KOM OOR DIE SEE – a line from the popular “Kaapseklopse” and slave song Die Alabama. Working in The Belfast Exposed archive – which contains photographs documenting the Troubles in Northern Island – photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were interested in the process of selection, and the physical marks made on the photographic contact strips in the archive.Marks were made both by the succession of archivists who worked with the archive, and as the archive was made open to the public, marks and cuts made by individuals who defaced images of themselves.
The archive, then, is not only a collection of images which document the troubles, but the images themselves – they too become surfaces which bear testimony to the physical manipulation and handling of history and documentation.
In the works on the exhibition the artists have brought to light the process of selection and deletion by uncovering parts of the images which have been covered by archivists’ stickers and deleting the rest of the image. In the process of exposing what was covered and deleting what was not, the artists make over the ways in which cataloguing and selection impact on an archive. When the works are installed in the gallery the images – now devoid of their context – trigger different responses in the viewers, who must use their own backgrounds and history to make meaning of the images’ sequences.
Mounir Fatmi works within the realm of art history and visual culture. Taking the Italian Renaissance artist Fra Anglico’s painting The Healing of Deacon Justinian as his starting point, Fatmi questions the possibility of traversing ethnic and cultural barriers. A digital replica of Angelico’s painting has been printed on a mirrored surface. The painting depicts the Catholic hagiology of the Deacon Justinian, whose cancerous leg was replaced with that of an a dead Ethiopian by the saints Cosmas and Damian – twin doctors of Turkish descent who were martyred in the Catholic faith after they were beheaded under Diocletian persecution.
Fatmi places composites images of modern surgeries and trauma rooms onto the Angelico image so that the saints and the deacon appear as ghostly forms in the modern world. Like so many of his works, in Blinding Light, Mounir Fatmi does not provide the viewer with an answer or solution to ethnic and cultural barriers – but rather through a merging of media, time and origin he includes the viewer in the a process of complicating and questioning the past.
The mirrored surface of the work means that in the proccess of looking, the viewer becomes part of the layered imagery. Bodies are reflected in the parts of the work which are still reflective and hidden in the parts which have been been covered by the photographic print. Again, medium is used as a visual analogy for contemplating that which has come before, where the viewer, as in Frangelico’s painting, becomes a ghostly presence in a reworking and re-imagining of the past. In her dual channel video work Treatment, – Candice Breitz also works with insertion and reception, through revising and editing David Cronenberg’s iconic 1970’s horror film The Brood.
Breitz enlists herself, her own mother and father, and her real-life psychotherapist to inhabit and re-create a series of scenes from The Brood.
As with the Cronenberg film,Treatment resists indulging concrete autobiographical information, denying onlookers voyeuristic access to Breitz’s actual relationships with her parents and therapist, and focusing instead on the psychological horror that potentially lies within family life.
Once again the work deals with the hidden that exists underneath the observable – and asks the viewer to engage with the reference, the artist’s intention and the narrative potential of their own history being brought to bear upon the works.
Surfacing is a group exhibition which allows for an exploration of the transient space between destruction and (re)construction. The exhibition aims to bring to light the fragments and residues that remain after destruction, and linger beneath a new form. In the preface to the 1961 edition of Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Jean-Paul Sartre writes “violence is man re-creating himself”. Although Sartre speaks of violence as a necessity for overthrowing colonial power, “no gentleness can efface the marks of violence; only violence itself can destroy them.” This exhibition understands Sartre’s notion to address culpability, selfhood and violence and trauma involved in the process of becoming, scrutinizing and (re)creating.
Liza Lou’s Dirty White (2011-14) is a painting woven entirely out of glass beads. Over a period of months, Lou and her studio assistants from eight different townships in KwaZulu-Natal wove white A4 sheets out of identical white beads. The resulting painting tells the story of its own making: pock marks, streaks, ruptures and dirt are imbedded in a kind of code that speaks of the blood, sweat and tears of everyday life. For Lou, it is precisely in the moments of imperfection that beauty emerges – quoting from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem (1992), Lou explains “there’s a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in.”
Kendell Geers’ sculpture Country Of My Skull is made from a cannibal trophy from New Caledonia; an artifact that by
its very nature is politicised and stands as a reference to violence and terror. The work’s title is taken from Antjie Krog’s literary account of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission – and expresses the artist’s constant battle between the paradoxical distancing of himself from a prejudiced and vicious heritage and the acknowledgement that he can never be entirely removed from it. In WaitingWantingWastingWorking Kendell Geers has produced a generic bed made from polished steel and razor mesh. For Geers the industrial phenomenon of razor mesh production – based on separation and othering, is a metaphor for the predicament of South Africa during Apartheid – as well as a metaphor for the artist who was born into the apartheid regime and struggled to understand the violence he was born out of and simultaneously born into. WaitingWantingWastingWorking has been made to be beautiful and monumental, while at the same time maintaining the original violence which has so informed Geers’ production throughout his career.
One million points of light by Alfredo Jaar was shot off the coast of Angola, in Luanda. It was taken while standing, facing the ocean directly towards Brazil, in memory of the 14 million slaves sent from Angola to Brazil. Jaar’s photograph is inviting in its beauty and physicality; the way in which the image has been photographed and Jaar’s decision to use a lightbox to display the photograph means that surface of the image becomes almost tangible. It appears as if the light hitting the water becomes a layer that could be peeled back like skin, revealing the deep suffering to which the artist alludes.
In an abridged version of the large installation I was looking back, Mikhael Subotzky investigates the practice and mechanics of looking in relation to the history of South Africa, the history of photographic devices, and his own history as an artist. A number of the works on show have been smashed by the artist, creating a tension between document and object. The shattered surfaces become both unsettling and poignant, both concealing and recreating the image that lies beneath it.
mounir fatmi’s 3D rendered film Sleep Al Naim shows the writer Salman Rushdie sleeping peacefully, his bare chest heaving and falling to the rhythm of his breathing. The film borrows its imagery from Andy Warhol’s minimalist pop experimental film Sleep. Sleep Al Naim suggests the ambivalence of a physical abandonment, quiet and calm. Given the now notorious threats to Rushdie’s life, the film alludes to potential physical threat – and the viewer perhaps feels unease at watching Rushdie in a state of such vulnerability. This unease occurs against the alienation between the viewer and what is happening inside “Rushdie’s” mind – the ambivalence of quiet exists in these moments – when the torments of the mind exist in the unconscious.
William Kentridge’s 2007 body of work What Will Come is both a reflection on the way in which images are perceived and constructed by the human eye and a political statement about the violence and repercussions of colonialism. The works explore the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (at the time Abyssinia) in 1935-1936, drawing a connection between fascism and colonialism. Kentridge describes the works as “involving seeing twice. Seeing the image in one form and then reconstructing the image either in a mirror, or another optical device.” What Kentridge does then, is to deconstruct an image and ask for the viewer to reconstruct it using a series of optical devices. The drawings become fragments and remnants – with the full image existing only in the transient space of each viewer’s eye – and by extension mind. In evoking Italian amnesia about its colonial past, and the need for the re-evaluation of its violent heritage, Kentridge explores the duality of selfhood trauma involved in re-evaluating the self.
In Candice Breitz’s new video installation Treatment, the artist brings an original soundtrack to three key scenes from director David Cronenberg’s seminal film The Brood. In focusing on the family trauma at the heart of The Brood, Breitz pays tribute to Cronenberg’s ability to draw audiences into psychological identification with his characters, suggestively adding the voices of her own family to a palimpsest that already folds Cronenberg’s family narrative into that of the fictional family in The Brood. Staging an analogy between cinematic role-play and therapeutic role-play, The Brood and Treatment share – with their directors – a deep-seated interest in the formative nature of family relationships, a serious investment in the analytical potential of the moving image, and an absolute conviction in the potential of fiction to delve beneath the surface of things.
Haroon Gunn-Salie’s installation titled Amongst Men considers the figure of Imam Abdullah Haron, and the intersecting histories of Islam and the resistance to colonialism and apartheid in South Africa. The installation conceptually recreates Imam Haron’s funeral, which was attended by over 40 000 people after he was murdered by Apartheid police in 1969, by suspending a series of cast kufiya. It is accompanied by a haunting sound element: a recording of a poem written and read by James Matthews, which questions “Was he a patriot or terrorist?” – a reflection on the Imam’s legacy of resistance in contrast to his treatment at the hands of the Apartheid government.
Johan Thom’s work Recital (lend me your ears) consists of three prayer bead necklaces each fashioned from wooden beads, music strings and fifty individually engraved razorblades. Like a real set of prayer beads, the object is made to be handled as part of a highly personal, meditative reflection. The work exists as a silent symphony playing out in the mind of the viewer, and is constructed from the artist’s personal history as an immigrant from Europe. Thom states “this symphony has as much to do with my family, religion, as with war and the discovery of gold in Southern Africa in 1886. But more sinister meanings are present here: The appearance of sharp blades on the necklace serve to remind of the actual collection of ears as trophies by soldiers during the colonial wars in Africa. Instead of a crucifix each prayer bead terminates in another object associated with the larger history by and through which my identity is constructed.” As with Kentridge’s film, where the complete image exists only in the mind of the viewer, Thom’s violent heritage is replayed in the mind of each viewer who interacts with the components of the artist’s inherited history.
In The English Garden, Kudzanai Chiurai investigates Zimbabwe’s violent history as well as the way in which Africa is imagined in the west. Chiurai questions the “contemporary African condition” by juxtaposing the past and the present of a continent in the constant grip of violent civil wars. The painted body emerges from Chiurai’s landscapes as an ambivalent site, of simultaneous oppression and agency, as it negotiates the limits of action and freedom. It is precisely those moments of oppression and agency – destruction and reconstruction – that Chiurai explores, and that his characters simultaneously lament and cherish.
In Context presents a diverse group of international and South African artists who share a rigorous commitment to the dynamics and tensions of place, in reference to the African continent and its varied and complex iterations, and to South Africa in particular. The works – wide-ranging, frequently provocative – engage with a number of pressing questions about space, context, and geography.
In this gathering of artists – envisioned as a series of conversation and engagements – the question of context is posed once again, but problematised in various ways. The terms ‘local’ and ‘international’ are given new emphasis (especially at this juncture and in the context of one of the largest sporting events on the planet) and the following questions are posed: What does it mean to be a local artist in this age of the global? Do African artists wish to continue speaking of context? How do artists of the African Diaspora reflect on their distance from and proximity to home? Where is home? How have some artists living in Europe and the Americas inherited and absorbed an African heritage or sensibility, even when they have not visited the Continent? Have we reached a point in the story of contemporary art in which the term ‘African artist’ can be dispensed with or do we still require it as a marker of distance from Europe and North America? To what extent does the global art market rely upon or exploit the term to sell art in Europe and North America? Is there thus a distinction to be made between the way in which African artists represent themselves and the ‘Western’ reception of contemporary art from Africa?
Rather than present only artists from the African continent in this project, In Context also considers the works of artists who, though they may have some interest in South Africa, have not visited the country or anywhere else in Africa. Their connection to the continent might be one they have inherited from the history of slavery, or from the displacements of Diaspora and exile. The aim is to generate conversations between works and even to assess the relevance of the questions we have raised in the face of the works themselves. We may find ourselves entirely surprised by the answers. We hope to be provoked, to open engagements that overturn the concerns and themes we have offered, that render them more rather than less problematic, or that dispense with them altogether. We may indeed find that individual practice casts an entirely different light on the question of context.
In Context will take place in a number of non-commercial venues and, through a series of talks, walkabouts, and panel discussions, will promote engagement both with artists and audiences. The partners in this project take seriously the need to begin a number of collaborations that can be sustained beyond the events of In Context. They also seek to reach a wider audience than the usual gallery visitors and to promote appreciation of art through unconventional interventions outside of the traditional gallery space.
Mounir Fatmi was born in Tangier, Morocco in 1970 he lives and works between Paris and Tangier.
mounir fatmi constructs visual spaces and linguistic games.His work deals with the desecration of religious object, deconstruction and the end of dogmas and ideologies. He is particularly interested in the idea of death of the subject of
consumption. This can be applied to antenna cables, copier machines, VHS tapes, and a dead language or a political movement. His videos, installations, drawings, paintings and sculptures bring to light our doubts, fears and desires. They directly address the current events of our world, and speak to those whose lives are affected by specific events and reveals its structure. Mounir Fatmi’s work offers a look at the world from a different glance, refusing to be blinded by the conventions.
mounir fatmi’s work has been shown in numerous solo exhibition, in the Migros Museum für Gegenwarskunst, Zürich, Switzerland, at the PIcasso Museum, war and peace, Vallauris, at the FRAC Alsace, Sélestat, at the Contemporary Art Center Le Parvis, at the Fondazione Collegio San Caro, Modena.
He participated in several collective shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris,The Brooklyn Museum, New York, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo,
Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha and the Hayward Gallery, London.
His installations have been selected in biennials such as the 52nd and 54th Venice Biennial, the 8th biennial of Sharjah, the 5th and 7th Dakar Biennial, the 2nd Seville Biennial, the 5th Gwangju Biennial and the 10th Lyon Biennial.
Mounir Fatmi was awarded by several prize such as the Cairo Biennial Prize in 2010, the Uriöt prize, Amsterdam and the Grand Prize Leopold Sedar Senghor of the 7th Dakar Biennial in 2006.
2014 Walking on the Light, CCC. Tours, France
2014 Kissing Circles, Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland
2014 Spot On: Mounir Fatmi, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Allemagne
2014 Rooms: The Impossible Collection Under 30 years, Fernet-Branca Foundation Louis, Saint, France
2013 – 2014 La Route Bleue: Journeys and beauty, Mediterranean and China, Villa Empain-Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium
2013 Intersections , Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2012 Suspect Language , Goodman Gallery, Cape Town
2012 Oriental Accident , Lombard Freid Projects, New York
2012 Kissing Circles , Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica
2011 The Angel’s Black Leg, Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf
2011 Between the lines, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
2011 Without Anesthesia, Analix Forever, Genève
2011 Megalopolis, AKBank Sanat, Istanbul
2011 Architecture Now!, Espace Culturel Le Chaplin, Mantes La Jolie
2011 Linguaggi Costituenti, Fondazione Collegio San Carlo, Modena
2010 Seeing is believing, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
2010 The Beautiful Language, Galerie Ferdinand van Dieten, Amsterdam
2010 Underneath, Kiosque Raspail, Ivry-sur-Seine
2009 fuck architects: chapter III, FRAC Alsace, Séléstat
2009 minimalism is capitalist, Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf
2009 Hard Head, Tank TV, Web-based project
2008 Connexion 02, Galerie Delacroix, Tanger, Marocco
2008 Fuck Architects: chapter 2, Le Creux de l’Enfer, Thiers, France
2008 Fuck architects: chapter III, Biennale de Bruxelles, Belgique
2007 Fuck architects : chapter 1, lombard-freid project, New York
2007 Something is possible, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007 I like America, La Maison Rouge- Foundation Antoine de Galbert, Paris, France
2007 Without History, Musée National Picasso La Guerre et la Paix, Vallauris, France
2007 mounir fatmi/nicole cohen, fiac, la bank galerie, Paris
2007 in search of paradise, ferdinand van dieten gallery, Amsterdam
2006 tête dure / hard head, Galerie la B.A.N.K., Paris, France
2006 99 names of god, Galerie Saint Severin, Paris, France
2005 Bad Connection, Saw Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
2005 Black screens, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Istres, France
2004 Survival Signs, Video Works, 1990-2004, Videokiosque 01, Pau, France
2004 He who Laughs last laughs longest, Centre d’art contemporain le Parvis, Ibos, France
2004 Until the End of Dust, Espace des Arts, Colomiers, France
2003 Obstacles-next flag, Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland
1999 Connections and Displacements, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
Selected Group Exhibitions
2015 The Sublime: Contemporary Works from the Collection, Qagoma, Brisbane, Australia
2014 – 2015 Le Maroc Contemporain, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
2014 – 2015 1914 – 2014, Cent ans de creation au Maroc, MMVI Musee Mohammed VI, Rabat, Morocco (inaugural exhibition)
2014 Helvetica Zebra, Station, Beruit, Lebanon
2014 The sea is my land, Triennale di Milano, Milano, Italy
2014 Giving Contours to Shadows, N.B.K., Berlin, Allemagne
2014 The Disappearing of Fireflies, Prison Sainte-Anne, Avignon, France
2014 Songs of Loss and Songs of Love, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, Corée du Sud
2014 Jameel Prize Shortlist, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
2014 Surfacing, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town
2014 View From Inside, Fotofest Biennial, Houston
2014 Arab Contemporary: Architecture, Culture & Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
2014 Impact, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
2014 Colonia Apocrifa, MUSAC Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Leon, Spain
2014 Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and the Maghrebi Diaspora, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford college, Haveford, USA
2013 The Sea is my land, MAXII, Rome, Italy
2013 25 years of Arab creativity, National Museum of Bahrain, Bahrain
2013 Bodies Speaking Out: New Ceramics International, Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA
2013 La Route Bleue: Journeys and beauty, Mediterranean and China, Villa Empain-Boghossian Foundation , Brussels, Belgium
2013 Jameel Prize, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Great Britain
2013 Jameel Prize, Manege, Moscow, Russia
2012 Unfolding Tales, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn
2012 Beyond Memory, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem
2012 In Other Words/ Blackmarket of Translation, NGBK, Berlin
2012 Machines – les Formes du mouvement, Manif d’Art 6, Québec
2012 L’histoire est à moi! , Le Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse
2012 Unrest, Apexart, New York
2012 Transit, Modern Museum of Art, Salvadore de Bahia, Brasil
2012 Contemporary practices and Social Dynamics, Dakar Biennial
2011 The Future of a promise, Maggazini del Sale, 54e Biennale de Venise, Venise
2011 Told, Untold, Retold, Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha
2011 A Rock and a Hard Place, 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale, Thessalonique
2011 The Last exhibition at Galerie Ferdinand van Dieten, Galerie Ferdinand van Dieten, Amsterdam
2011 Concrete Islands, Analix Forever in Paris, Paris
2011 Miragen, Museu Nacional do Conjunto Cultural da Republica, Brasilia
2011 Miragen, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo
2011 Frontières, rencontres de Bamako, Fondation Gulbenkian, Lisbonne
2011 Meeting Point 6: Locus Agonistes – Practices and Logics of the civic, Argos 2011 Center for Art and Media, Bruxelles
2011 La Ville et leurs imaginaires, Fondation Blachère, Apt
2011 Images affranchies, Ancienne agence de la Banque du Maroc, Marrakech
2011 Fluxus-African Contemporary Art, Chiesa dei Santi Carlo e Agata, Reggio Emilia
2011 Inspiration Dior, Musée des Beaux Arts Pouchkine, Moscou
2011 Pax, Fondation Frances, Senlis
2011 Meeting Point 6: Locus Agonistes – Practices and Logics of the civic, Beirut art Center, Beyrout
2011 The Pavement and the Beach, Paradise Row, Londres
2011 Une terrible beauté est né, 11e Biennale de Lyon, Lyon.
2011 The Great Babylon Circus, Mu, Eindhoven
2011 Working for change, projet pour le pavillon marocain, 54e Biennale de Venise, Appartement 22, Rabat
2011 West end?, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem
2011 Islam & the City, Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris
2011 Collector, Tri postal , Lille
2011 Maghreb: Dos Orillas, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid
2011 Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change,Dublin Contemporary 2011, Dublin
2010 Dak’ art 2010: retrospective et perspectives, Dakar, Senegal
2010 Observatori 09, Valencia, Espagne
2010 The Storyteller, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
2010 In Context, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, South Africa
2010 XIIth Cairo Biennial, Cairo
2010 Unexpected, Unerwartet, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum
2010 Res publica, Moscow museum of modern art, Moscou
2010 Yesterday will be better, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau
2010 Miragens, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro
2010 Biennale Cuvée, Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz
2010 Breaking News, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modène
2010 CAVE, Contemporary Arab Video Encounter, Maraya art center, Sharjah
2010 THE STATE, Traffic, Dubai
2010 Première Biennale méditerrannéene d’Haifa, Haifa
2010 Silence_Storm, Port Izmir 2, International triennial of contemporary art, Izmir
2010 The Storyteller, The New School, New York
2010 The Exquisite Corpse Project, Gasser Grunert Gallery, New York
2010 Shadow Dance, KAdE, Amersfoort
2010 One shot! Football et Art Contemporain, B.P.S. 22, Charleroi
2010 Born in Dystopia, Rosenblum Collection & Friends, Paris
2010 As the land expands, the world gets closer, Al Riwaq, Bahrein
2010 Résonances: Artistes marocains du monde, Musée privé de Marrakech, Marrakech
2010 Frontières, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2010 Frontières, 8e rencontres photographiques de Bamako, La centrale électrique, Bruxelles
2010 Frontières, 4e rencontres photographiques de Fès, Institut culturel français, Fès
2010 Frontières, Centre culturel franco-mozambicain, Maputo
2010 Living Together, Observatori 11, Valencia
2010 FIAC Tuileries 2010, Paris
2009 The Spectacle of the Everyday, Xe Biennale de Lyon, Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon
2009 Photography Biennial of Bamako, Mali
2009 Balla Drama, Paradise Row, Londres
2009 America, Beirut Art Center, Beyrouth
2009 Looking Inside Out, Kunsternes Hus, Oslo
2009 The Storyteller, Salina Art Center, Salina
2009 Out of Line, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York
2009 Things Fall Apart, Winkleman Gallery, New York
2009 After Architecture: Tipologies de Després, Santa Monica Art Center, Barcelone
2009 Il faut être absolument moderne, Istanbul
2009 Art Tel Aviv, Tev Aviv
2009 Collective Memories in three chapters, Galerie Antje Wachs, Berlin
2009 Cul-de-Sac, Isola di San Pietro, Venise
2009 Another Border: Who are the others?, Göteborgs Konsthall, Göteborg
2009 Another Border: Who are the others?, LACMA, Los Angeles
2009 Traversées-Crossings, Darb 17 18, Le Caire
2009 Traversées-Crossings, Bab Rouah, Bab Elkebir, Rabat
2009 Fontion Critique, Aperto, Montpellier
2009 Little Black Curly Hair, Kappatos Galerie, Athènes
2009 TransArabe in Casa Arabe, Casa Arabe, Madrid
2008 Paradise Now!, essential French avant-Garde Cinema 1890-2008, Tate modern, Londres
2008 Farewell to Colonialism, Third Guangshou Trienniale, Guangzhou
2008 Looking Forward to hearing from you, Musée Gounaropoulos, Athènes
2008 Open Sky, Spaces beyond their Practices, Kunstverein Medienturm, Ilz
2008 Flow, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York
2008 Peur et Désir, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
2008 Traces du sacré, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
2008 The gates of Mediterranean, Palazzo del Piozzo Rivoli, Turin
2008 Traces du sacré, Haus der Kunst, Münich
2008 Cadavre exquis, Analix-forever gallery, Genève
2008 Visionary Tales of a Balanced Earth, The Te Papa Museum, New Zealand
2008 Biennale of Pontevedra, Pontevedra
2008 Traversia, CAAM, Canary Islands
2008 Videozoom, Sala 1, Centro Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, Roma
2008 Traversées, ArtParis, Paris
2008 Attempt to exhaust an African place, Santa Monica Art Center, Barcelone
2007 52nd International Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2007 Sharjah Biennial 8: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change, Sharjah, U.A.E
2007 1st Triennial of Luanda, Luanda, Angola
2007 24th biennial Memorial of Nadezda Petrovic, Serbia and Balkan
2007 Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, USA
2007 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2007 Los Angeles art fair in New York,Stand Shoshana Wayne Gallery, New York
2007 Art Chicago, Stand Shoshana Wayne Gallery,Chicago
2006 2nd Biennial of Séville: The Unhomely Phantom Scenes in Global Society, Séville, Spain
2006 7th Dakar Biennial of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal
2006 Image Révélée, Musée de la ville de Tunis, Tunisian Republic
2006 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Moderna Musse, Stockholm, Sweden
2006 Self Defense, with the Black Panther Party, Galerie la B.A.N.K., Paris, France
2006 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2006 Alternative Currents, CAPC Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux & Le Parvis 2006 Center d’art contemporain, Ibos, France
2006 Foire d’art contemporain, fiac, stand Bank galerie, Paris
2006 Los Angeles art fair in New York,Stand Shoshana Wayne Gallery, New York
2005 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2005 Tourist Class, Konstmuseum, Malmö, Sweden
2005 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
2005 Meeting Point, Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway
2005 Marokko: kunst & design, Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2005 Mediterranean Encounters, Horcynus Orca Foundation, Messina, Italy
2004 5th Gwangju Biennial: A Drop of Water, a Grain of Dust, Gwangju, South Korea
2004 Nearer the Near East, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
2004 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
2004 Les Camoufleurs, Kunstverein Springhornhof, Lüneburg, Germany
2004 Biennial of Contemporary Art of Bourges, Bourges, France
2004 Inventaire Contemporain II, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
2004 Art frankfurt, curator’s choice, Frankfort
2003 On the Front: Geography of Contemporary Painting, Le Triage, Nanterre, France
2003 8th Havana Biennial, In/Tangibles Cartographies, Havana, Cuba
2003 New Arab Video, Caixa Forum, Barcelona, Spain
2003 _Avant-garde Cinema, General Counterculture-, Cinémathèque Francaise, Paris, France
2003 Video Art, Interactive Art, Musée de la fondation O.N.A., Casablanca, Morocco
2002 Videorient, Landesmuseum, Linz, Austria
2002 Images and Power, Espacio C, Camargo, Spain
2002 Observatorio #2, Espace Camouflage, Brussels, Belgium
2001 9th International Media Art Biennial, Wroclaw, Poland
2001 Video- I See, The Creation of Video, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
2000 4th Dakar Biennial of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal
2000 Film Screening, UC Berkeley & Pacific Film Archive, San Francisco
2000 Biennale of Art, Video and TV, Bologna, Italy
1999 Disoriented Object, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
1999 7th International Media Art Biennial, Wroclaw, Poland
1999 Nomadic Visions, FRAC Franche-Comté – Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, France
2006 Grand Prix Leopold Sedar, Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal
2006 Stichting kunstprijs Willem F.C. Uriôt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1998 Special mention, International festival of new film, Split, Croatia
1998 Special price of the Jury ex-æquo, Festival vidéo d’Estavar-Llivia, Estavar, France
1998 1st prize Video-creation, Canarias International Mediafest, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
1994 First Prize, Second Annnual Festival of Arab Video, Casablanca
1993 First Prize, Biennial of Young Painters Fondation Wafabank, Casablanca
2006 The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2005 Damon Center and Saw Gallery, Gatineau/Ottawa, Canada
2004 Drac Centre / Bandits-Mages, Bourges, France
2004 CRRAV, Bourse du Fonds Régional D’aide à la Création, Tourcoing, France
2001 Drac île de France, centre culturel le chaplin, Mantes la Jolie, France
2001 Friche André Malraux, Collectif 12, Mantes la Jolie, France
2000 Ateliers d’artistes, Marseille, France
1997 Drac Nord Pas de Calais / MAJT, Lille, France
2006 Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs/DCO/IC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 Van den Bergh van Heemstede stichting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1999 Bourse de l’AFAA, Cité International des Arts, Paris, France
Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la création, Paris, France
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain d’Alsace, Sélestat, France
Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
MAMC Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France
Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris, France
Rosenblum & Friends, Paris, France
Foundation Frances, Senlis, France
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany
Nadour, Krefeld, Germany
The Tiroche DeLeon Collection,Israel
Fondazione Cassa di risparmio di Modena, Modena, Italy
Darat al Funun, The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan
Commercial Bank of Morocco, Casablanca, Morocco
Wafabank Foundation, Casablanca, Morocco
Museum of the ONA Foundation, Casablanca, Morocco
Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
Rijksakademie Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
De Nederlandsche Bank N.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis, Tunisia
Koč Foundation, Istambul, Turkey
The Farjam Collection, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Articulate Contemporary Art Fund, London, United Kingdom
The Brooklyn Museum, New York, United-States of America
Hessel Foundation for the Bard Museum, New York, United-States of America
2011 Mounir Fatmi, My Father Has Lost His Teeth, Millenium Film Journal, Number 54, United States
2011 Barbara Polla, One More Minute of Sun, Drome Magazine, Number 19, Rome
2010 James Sey, A Grassy Rectangular Church, Art South Africa, South Africa
2010 J Bouwhuis & K. Winking, Dak’art 2010: Looking back, Facing Forward, Nafas Art Magazine
2010 Anthea Buys, Sprawling Tales of Home , Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg
2007 Mounir Fatmi: Until the End of Dust, Espace des Arts, Colomiers, France
2006 Toussaint, Evelyne, Odile Biec, Nicole Brenez. Mounir Fatmi, Un, Deux…Quatre Editions
2005 Goudard, Bernadette Clot. Écrans Noirs; Revue Semaine, Arles
2002 Cohen Hadria, Michèle, Frédéric Bouglé. Ovalproject; Centre Cultural le Chaplin, Mantes la Jolie
1996 Chevallier, Bénédicte. á L’Origine; Goethe Institute, Rabat
2007 Bedford, Christopher. Critic’s Picks: Mounir Fatmi, Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Artforum.com, February, 2007.
2007 Cohen Hadria, Michèle, Cris de banlieues/paroles d’artistes, etc. Montréal
2006 F.C. Fatmi l’insoumis, Télérama: N°2945
2005 Brenez, Nicole. L’art ne reflète pas le monde, il anticipe les vérités, Panic. Paris
2005 Dezainde, Line. Résister, Voir: September n°537, Ottawa
2004 Ballista, Marie-José. Ce qui Reste Après La Destruction. Le Berry Républicain, 26 October, Bourges
2004 Biec, Odile. Une Oeuvre à Lire Entre les Lignes, Revue un Deux Quatre, Clermont-Ferrand
2004 Raymond, Marie-Claire. Mounir Fatmi et La Tour Eiffel, La Nouvelle République, October 27, Cher
2003 Basting, Barbara. Aus Einer Welt der Hindernisse. Tages Anzeiger, November 15, Zürich
2003 Bernède, Jérémy. Le Monde Arabe Vu de son Avant-garde. Midi Libre, October 30, Montpellier
2003 Lagarde, Angélique. Une Grande Université de Langues. Cassandre, Paris
West, Michael. “Andere Ansichten aus Afrika.” Brüchenbauer, November 25, Zürich
2002 Antoine, Frédéric. ovalprojet, Le Courrier de Mantes. June 19, 2002: Mantes la Jolie
2002 el Haïk Tarek. Introducing the Video Work of Mounir Fatmi. Frameworks, n°43, New York
2002 Lagarde, Angélique. Mounir Fatmi. Plasticien, Projections, n°2, Paris
2012 Fatmi, m. Sans Histoire Paris, Les Editions de l’Art
2011 Fatmi, m. Ghosting, Paris, Studio Fatmi Publishing
2011 Fatmi, m. Megalopolis, Akbank Sanat Art Center, Beyoglu, Istanbul