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mounir fatmi on paper

mars 9, 2018

For mounir fatmi, drawing is essential ; and video is like another way of drawing. One of the remnant beauties of the work of mounir fatmi is always the emotion it generates. A motion in the true sense of the term: the setting in motion of the one who looks, a strong, profound, ineluctable and productive motion opening the doors of meaning.

mounir fatmi, le dessin fondateur

The series The Island of Roots is to be seen @art on paper in New York until march 11  ;  and a selection of 21 videos will be presented @ Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 23rd.

“Confronted with this machine of history that constantly repeats itself, the roots tell us about freedom : their freedom to grow in a random, wild and free manner.” Says mounir fatmi. And recalls that at the beginning of last century, and for a long time, the United States of America were a land of welcome. Ellis Island was an obligatory passage, that mythical gateway where so many hopes of new lives were sealed. mounir fatmi then takes hold of this story and, according to a habit that is dear to him and which constantly enriches his work and the scope of it, refers to another artist that Ellis Island inspired, namely the famous documentary photographer Lewis Hine, who photographed at the beginning of the 20th century so many different immigrants, from the Italian family to the Armenian Jew, from the Finnish young man to the Syrian migrant – already – and so many others.

Starting from these portraits, mounir fatmi draws their roots. These roots, which are plucked out, and which return, become more complex; Vegetal roots, organic, horizontal, floating, dendritic (as our central nervous system’s cells), sometimes sanguineous, rhizomatous (a word used by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze); roots which go from one drawing to another, which embrace, like Philemon embraced Baucis. Roots of exchange and sharing; inclusion roots: the type of roots that one makes when walking.

For mounir fatmi the bonds have always been essential. All the bonds : between countries, languages, civilizations, people, men and women…

L’anneau, à la recherche du lien perdu 

Depuis qu’il a quitté sa famille et son pays d’origine, sa culture en somme, mounir fatmi cherche à créer des liens, liens interpersonnels, interculturels, interreligieux… L’anneau pourrait il symboliser, permettre ces liens ? Il est peut être à la fois la plus réelle et la plus illusoire des illusions de l’artiste, lui qui se plaît à créer des illusions pour les utiliser comme matière à penser, à rêver. L’anneau constitue une tentative de lien primordial, le maillon premier d’une chaine de liens, le cercle qui unit. L’anneau primordial ? Celui fait de pierres, autour du foyer.

En lire plus, ici

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