Outre mesures et programmes radio

Maps, timelines, radio programmes, exhibition project curated by Ala Younis, for La Galerie, Contemporary Art Center of Noisy-le-Sec. 27.5-23.7.2011

Press Release

Outre mesures et programmes radio (Maps, timelines, radio programmes)
Tarek Atoui, Cevdet Erek, Mohssin Harraki, Maha Maamoun, Ossama Mohammed, Otobong Nkanga, Hassan Soliman
Guest curator: Ala’ Younis, in the framework of La Galerie’s annual residency for curators
28 May – 23 July 2011
Opening Friday 27 May 2011, 6:00 – 9:30pm
Press preview 5:00 - 6:00pm in the presence of the artists
A free shuttle will leave Paris (République square/metro République/central strip facing the exit Rue du Temple) at 7:00pm. Estimated return time 10:00pm. No advance booking; seating subject to availability.

Outre mesure et programmes radio (Maps, timelines, radio programmes)

In the framework of the annual residency programme for curators at Noisy-le-Sec, La Galerie is hosting Ala Younis, a curator from Jordan. Selected by La Galerie’s board via a call for candidates to achieve her project “Outre mesures et programmes radio” (Maps, timelines, radio programmes), Ala Younis will be in residence from 13 April to 9 July.

Artists offer history a chance to revisit its mistakes, which can be irretrievable. Using their access to personal and collective historical narratives, artists present viewers with a reflection of what, in their view, demands to be recorded and commented on within the timeframe and context of their work.

“Outre mesure et programmes radio (Maps, Timelines, Radio Programs)” is a two-part deliberation on our understanding of the construction of history. Basic tools of interpretation such as maps and personal timelines are here re-invented to reference a state, or to record the pulse of a society undergoing perpetual change.

The first part is an exhibition project showing artworks that explore individual positions within larger collectives and construct specific narratives within more general, shifting social, economic and political contexts. While history is unmade and rewritten with shapes imposed and disfigurements tolerated, personal narratives are inherited, lent and borrowed across epochs and generations.

The second part is a series of workshops in which local residents and visitors to the exhibition are invited to study elements of the exhibits, and experiment with constructing timelines and maps themselves. The workshops then aim to translate these timelines and maps into sound pieces to be broadcast on local and web radios during the period of the exhibition.

The exhibition will open at La Galerie on the evening of May 27, 2011, in the presence of the artists and contributors to the project. On the same evening, sound artist Tarek Atoui will present his performance Un-drum 3/Semantic Scanning Electron Microscope in the open space around La Galerie. Residents of Noisy-Le-Sec and exhibition guests are invited to share this event.

In the video work Domestic Tourism II (2009), Maha Maamoun looks through a collection of scenes from Egyptian feature films made against the backdrop of the Pyramids. She shows different ways in which these icons of the past are appropriated from the timelessness of the tourist postcard, and re-inscribed into complex and dynamic narratives of the city.

In problemè 5 (2010–11) Mohssin Harraki illustrates the infinite divisions and branchings interconnecting hereditary rulers. Each set of sequences is a ruling family tree different in its shape, length and country of origin, yet can be interpreted in the light of generational calculations and historical references. The work also exists in a video version.

Cevdet Erek’s first prototype of the Ruler series was made in Cairo and covers the period 1974–2007 using a scale of 1cm = 1 year. Since then, Erek has built a collection of plastic rulers that function as tools for interpreting personal timelines. The 4th prototype, showing the dates of the foundation of Turkish Republic and of the 3 coups d’état, was made in Antwerp to no specific scale. In the video Studio, two hands impulsively beat selected notes from the timeline of someone’s life.

In the film Step by Step (1979), Ossama Mohammed follows the stages of submission and transformation of the individual mindset from co-existence with nature towards acceptance of violence. Focusing on the basic education system, the film portrays young Syrian villagers whose choice is either their parents’ hard farming life or that of a migrant labourer in the city. Instead they choose to join the army.

Otobong Nkanga started to develop her work in progress Contained Measures of Tangible Memories in Morocco in 2009. The work and its installation play on the relativity of meaning and function within cultures, and examines alternate ways of using five natural elements (mica, black soap, cassia fistula, indigo dye, and alum). Between Nkanga’s hometown in Nigeria and Morocco, the different roles and histories of these elelments are explored within the context of the artist’s memories and artistic production.

Untitled (boy, bike, horse and bra), an undated painting by Hassan Soliman, remained a work in progress until the artist’s death in 2008. To the initial picture (1967–85), Soliman continued to add elements referencing influential events in his life. This is a dreamy recollection of a boy’s journey through a city of alleyways: women watching from balconies, a flying white horse, a child sitting on his mother’s lap, a pink rose that has just come to rest on the boy’s bicycle.

For his performance Un-drum 3/Semantic Scanning Electron Microscope, sound artist Tarek Atoui has built up a library of tens of thousands of audio microsamples. Using a system of body-activated pressure sensors, Atoui scans his microsamples at high speed, instantly selecting and editing them via a special analysis technique. The result is rhythmic structures involving hundreds of microsamples played simultaneously.

The curator

 Ala Younis is an independent curator based in Amman, Jordan. Through exhibition, film, and publication projects Younis investigates the position of individuals in a politically driven world. She worked as an Artistic Director for Darat al Funun, Amman, and has co-curated “Out of Place”, the foundation’s collaboration exhibition project with Tate Modern (London). She is also one of the curators for the three editions of the Independent Arab Film Festival (Arab Shorts), organized by Goethe Institut in Cairo (2009 – 2011).
> read curator’s statement

Annual residency programme for curators at Noisy-le-Sec

Since 2006, La Galerie has hosted foreign curators for an annual three-month residency; the aim is support for an exhibition in a French contemporary art centre and discovery by the resident curator of the Île-de-France contemporary scene (artists, professionals, other organizations, etc.). The annual residency for curators at La Galerie receives the backing of DRAC Île-de-France (Ministry of Culture).