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juin 6, 2018

« Human history, worldwide, is characterized by an unending duality between imprisonment and freedom, and our humane Journey to Freedom is far from an end. The attempts to conduct our lives as Journeys to Freedom are endless, whether we consider our freedom as a way to live our lives or whether we consider it as a virtual expression of an ideal. Sometimes, even prisons may host such journeys to freedom from within.

Art is one essential freedom. Jhafis Quintero, who became an artist while in jail for ten years, states that: “Creation is indispensable to the inmates’ survival”. Creating – no matters what – is indispensable to survive incarceration in the most constrained conditions: this is also what Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige tell us in their film Khiam 2000-2007. May be creating is indispensable for everybody’s survival. Any exploration of imprisonment may be per se a journey to freedom and exhibitions on “art & prison” are one possible way to promote freedom, inasmuch such exhibitions always lead us to reflect on the binomial freedom/imprisonment.

“A Journey to Freedom” is first of all an artistic statement. Artists chosen for the exhibition are so for the artistic power and beauty of their works. The exhibition “A Journey to Freedom” brings together both renowned artists who have been working on imprisonment and younger ones for which imprisonment is the essential theme. The exhibition aims to get the viewers into a state of openness, to stimulate them thinking about their own imprisonments, the history of jails and the current worldwide status of imprisonment/jailing. This exhibition requires the viewers to take and give their time to the images. The time given will not be a loss, but a gain of insight.

Along these lines, “A Journey to Freedom” proposes many moving images: videos/films in the exhibition will necessarily require «viewing with time». Indeed, video – as stated by Pier Paolo Pasolini when talking about cinema – is as much a philosophical investigation as a visual and a linguistic one. It provides not only images, but an “environment”, (Sean Capone) that permits us to think of the world differently. Video art is also the most contemporary artistic medium of our time as it goes with the uninterrupted flow of moving images that submerge us. But video art opposes the flow of images and time, resists the tide and forces it to stop; it is the backflow, the creative counter-flow from the moving images. Video art generates a contemplative time, one of immersion and offers a unique new space-time. Video art is an art of resistance and freedom. »

Barbara Polla

With Janet Biggs, Nicolas Daubanes, mounir fatmi, Shaun Gladwell, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Ali Kazma, Rachel Labastie, Ricky Maynard, Robert Montgomery, Jean-Michel Pancin, Jhafis Quintero, Sam Wallman.

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