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Taysir Batniji at the Mathaf : the ambivalence of impermanence.


Palestinian artist Taysir Batniji’s first solo show in the Middle East is currently hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in Doha. « No condition is permanent » is a retrospective of his works from 1997 to these days.

The pieces of the pluridisciplinary artist based in France where he’s in exile, selected by Abdellah Karroum and Lina Ramadan, are a striking mix of collective memory and autobiographical creations. Through photography, paintings, video, installations and performance, Batniji invites the viewer into a dialogue around the notion of trauma, while questioning the construction of his own identity, always caught in between. Lack, distance, and exclusion are facing the irrepressible need to preserve links and relationships, to connect and resist. The « Imperfect Lovers », an iconique neon piece of the artist, highlight the incompatibility between privileges and revolution, which are anagrams in Arabic :  ثورة and ثروة.

Amongst the most moving pieces is a series of framed white sheets on which are engraved the contours of Batniji’s late brother’s wedding photos. The fleeting scenes of happiness are an allegory of grief and absence. At the end of the exhibition, a pile of Nablus soaps is offered to the visitor. The Arabic saying « دوام الحال من المحال », which gave its name to the show, is written on the soaps. This sentence is literally represented by the nature of the soap, which is doomed to disappear but conveys a sense of hope while also representing the fragility and impermanence of existence. A bold exhibition without compromises, shown until the 21st of January.

Chama Tahiri

Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view

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