Ver versus ver 2.21 Oct - 18 Nov 2020

Ver versus ver 2

Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present the exhibition Ver versus ver 2, the first IRL show of the gallery which is only accesible online, in an online viewing room that includes a 3D tour of the real exhibition. Ver versus ver 2 is the second iteration of a group show that invites to reflect about what is beyond the visible, including works by :mentalKLINIK, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Amina Benbouchta, Gabriela Bettini, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Alexandra Karakashian, Waqas Khan, Babak Golkar, Nicène Kossentini, Timothy Hyunsoo Lee, Mónica de Miranda and Paloma Polo.

 

Marcel Duchamp said that he was interested in ideas, and not in visual products. In this same sense, he also despised thoughts when they depended on words. But before and after Duchamp, many pages have been filled, precisely with words, to talk about abstract thought, how ideas work, the conditioning of language or the background of the concepts that words contain. The same happens with images: even knowing just one worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, they are also contained in a reality that can tell us very different things depending on the moment, the person or the place. If we do not know how to see, perhaps we are condemned to be deceived by the world. We cannot even trust what we see as categorical truths without questioning what we are seeing. Without reflecting, without looking beyond. Knowing how to see and questioning ourselves about it is an essential skill in life and art. Because the same happens with art: an artwork is not an image in itself, nor a set of techniques elaborated with more or less talent, but everything behind it.

 

A context, an artist and his career, a concept, a whole story that may or may not be told. So is Ver versus ver. We wanted to use a single word with a meaning that has several possibilities. The same way that implies deeper readings. Today we are not interested in the difference between looking and seeing, but between seeing (and perhaps believing what we see) and taking the moment of reflection to reach a deeper meaning. Because seeing art implies reflection. And generally, it generates more questions than answers. But the questions are what inspire our curiosity, those that lead us to experiment, those that generate conversation and also understanding. In our opinion, it is the questions and not the answers that accelerate the learning curve.

 

So with the same act of different depth, we can also see different artworks. To paraphrase Duchamp again, the works could be a product of the viewer and not the artist. Or are they the product of a story, a trajectory or an idea that the artist tries to communicate? And in the latter case, can we trust our personal experience, our feelings and our perception in general, will not change what the artist wanted to tell? We are convinced that these and other questions are part of the art’s magic (transportable to many conversations) and we leave the door open for everyone to make their own.

Nicène Kossentini

Nicène Kossentini is a tunisian artist, living and working in Tunis, Tunisia and Paris, France Born in Tunis, 1976.


She studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in Tunis, at the Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg and at the Sorbonne University in Paris. During the first edition of the International Digital Media in France, she was interned at the Studio National des Arts Contemporains Le Fresnoy and at l'École de l'Image Les Gobelins.


Actually, she is assistant professor of experimental cinema at the University of Tunis. 


Nicène works have been shown all over the world in art galleries, fairs and institutions such as Art Dubai, Marrakech Art Fair, Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), Círculo de Bellas Artes (Madrid), Museum of Boulogne Billancourt (France), National Museum of Carthague (Tunisia), Museum of Contemporary art of Algiers (Algeria), Bamako Biennale, Alexandria Biennale, Tunis Biennale and Thessaloniki Biennale.


Her work is present in prominent public collections such as The British Museum, Kamel Lazaar Foundation or the Museum of Modern Art in Tunis, Tunisia.

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They abused her by saying ..., 2012.

12 Fine art print on diasec.

155 x 325 cm.

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In "They Abused Her By Saying", Kossentini confronts the viewer with the status of Tunisian society represented in the body of a young Tunisian woman. This status, as much to recognize, is not of such a nature as to make people dream. In a series of B/W photographs, the artist presents to us the sight of a young woman dressed in a white dress colliding with her whole body against the walls formed here by the margins of the photography. Prisoner inside a body, a body prisoner of the world around it, taking on the airs of a cell that cannot be opened and whose bars have the power to constrain, domesticate, humiliate, banish, a body which collapses on the soil, exhausted, lacking in resources. The wish of being an accomplished and free woman, owner of her body, of her desires. Beyond the fairly obvious symbolism (but courageous under the dictatorship), the effect of whiteness and saturation leads to a virtual disappearance of the image, to a virtual impossibility of representing where only a few signs emerge from nothingness.


Paul Ardenne

Jöel Andrianomearisoa

Jöel Andrianomearisoa is a Madagascarian artist, working and living in Paris, France and Antananarivo, Madagascar. Born in Antananarivo, 1977.


Andrianomearisoa is always on the edges. He does not approach his work in a direct way, but places it at the edges of the desires of whomever discovers it. His work comes down to a question of posture. He listens to the pulses of life with more generosity than they are given, and finds a way to be present in the world, "dans le nu de la vie", in the nude of life. 


Urban space is a primary interest as well. The noises, smells, images, lights and incessant movement that generate city life compose his universe without imprisoning him in a specific geographical space. His images take viewers to places even the artist does not expect to be. « I need to be surprised by images. The situation has to be completely staggered. I do not consider myself as a photographer; I am someone who makes images, » he says.


To compose a work, the artist needs a basic frame. Then the experiments begin, the manipulations that outline the project. « The work arises from various manipulations that lead me to the final result. When I set up an installation, I do not imagine its finality. I know the elements that compose it, but in the instant I set them up I discover something else. And that is when the work makes sense, » Andrianomearisoa says. 


His poetic virtuosity lies in his capacity to seize this moment of signification, when nobody can tell beginning from end.

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Complex horizons II, 2016

Printed textile and wood.

130 x 205 cm.

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Last year in Antananarivo, 2016.

Inkjet print on Hahnemühle paper.

28 x 326 cm. Ed. 3/3

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I like the flexibility of the fabric, which allows all the combinations through tying, weaving, cutting, matching. It carries a language that can go very far.


Joël Andrianomearisoa

Alexandra Karakashian

Alexandra Karakashian (b. 1988, Johannesburg) is a South African artist based in Cape Town, South Africa.


Her work stems from her personal and family history and reflects on current issues of exile, migration and refugee-statues. Process and materiality is key to her practice. Employing used engine oil and salt as a medium for painting, she engages in ecological discussion, the threatening instability and subtle collapse; and the unethical seizing of rapidly dwindling natural resources, particularly on the resource-rich African continent. Furthermore she investigates notions of mourning – both of an individual and collective nature – and the lamentation of the loss of land and of those who have been 'unhomed'.


Her work is part of private and public collections including the Iziko South African National Gallery in South Africa, the Spier Collection in South Africa, the Darvesh Collection in the UAE, The Royal Portfolio Collection, in South Africa, and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Italy.

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Undying XLVIII, 2018.

Oil and used engine oil on sized paper.

99 x 70 cm.

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Undying XL, 2018.

Oil and used engine oil on sized paper.

99 x 70 cm.

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Paloma Polo

Paloma Polo is a Spanish artist and independent researcher based in Utrecht. Between 2007- 2009 she attended De Ateliers art residency program (Amsterdam) and in 2010 the Gasworks residency program (London). In 2013 she was tenured as a visiting research fellow at the Center for International Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman, Manila. Her later research explorations were hosted in by Les Laboratoires D’Aubervilliers research and creation institution (Paris). Polo is one of the driving forces of the organization Moving Artists International, and a member of the International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS).


Delving into past events or probing into on-going conflicts, Paloma Polo’s endeavors have progressed alongside a continuing immersion in zones of unrest. It is from the side and the agency of the people in struggle, in the battleground of emancipatory revolutionary processes, that she has situated her investigations. Her proposition is to devise and stage a narrative, a script, that captures the emergence of political thought in the people, in order to explore social configurations as preconditions or potentialities for political change. Such an inquiry entails paying heed to worldviews that are violently suppressed in the making and normalization of political categories, even emancipatory ones, and has led her to observe social dimensions of concrete struggles that are rendered invisible and remain unrecognized. Storytelling and fictional speculations, materialized audio-visually, are, in her work, a tentative means to fathom the remolding of social relations in their contradictory movements.


She has exhibited her work individually at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo- CA2M (Madrid), Arts Catalyst (London), Kurimanzutto Gallery (Mexico City), Casa Barragan (Mexico City), Montehermoso Cultural Centre (Vitoria) and SKOR Foundation for Art and Public Domain (Amsterdam) among other venues. Her work has been featured at the International Exhibition of the 55th Venice Biennial, Turner Contemporary (Kent), Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (México), High Line Art (New York), Le Commun.Bâtiment d'art Contemporain (Geneva), Stedelijk Hertogenbosch Museum (Den Bosch), Celje Regional Museum, (Slovenia), Artium Museum (Vitoria) or CGAC, Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo (Santiago de Compostela) among others.

Her work is in relevant collections as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo- CA2M (Madrid), Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo (Santiago de Compostela), Centro Botín y Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León).

 

 

Misfortunes, conflicts and deception arise when epistemology forgets that any device employed is a tool created to make sense of the world, and instead grounds the production of knowledge on the assumption that those instruments are factual and empirical attributes of the world… we need to invent tools to understand the world, but it is essential to develop a critical reflexivity running alongside it. And those tools have the progress and change.


Paloma Polo

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A Fleeting Moment of Dissidence Becomes Fossilised and Lifeless After The Moment has Passed II, 2015.

Inkjet prints on cotton paper,

framing glass including serigraphy.

144 x 212 cm.

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Gabriela Bettini

Gabriela Bettini is a Spanish artist of Argentinian origin. Born in Madrid in 1977.


Gabriela Bettini was born in Madrid. Her current interests lie in the study of the first cultural colonization and how it relates to its present-day legacy. Using the history of painting and the representation of landscape as her point of departure – observing how this medium may have been used to reinforce the ideas that form the basis of Western hegemony – she analyses today’s environmental crisis and the extractivist model it espouses, one where women become a paradigm of the multiple violence inflicted by climate change.


She has worked with the idea of Post-memory in a series of pieces which revisit the dominant narratives of a generation that experienced the Argentinian dictatorship; these works directly link historical archives with her subjects’ own life stories. In her work, she has studied life experiences existing in the margins of History, revealing the voids that result when we attempt to reconcile memory, memory politics and official narratives.


Gabriela Bettini has exhibited at Borges Cultural Centre and Haroldo Conti Memory Cultural Centre, both in Buenos Aires, Tlatelolco Cultural Centre in Mexico City, House of Latin America of Lisbon, TEA Tenerife Space of Arts and the Argentine Foundation in Paris. She was awarded the Obra Abierta First Prize - Caja de Extremadura International Visual Arts Prize, the Madrid Region Visual Art Creation Grant and the MAEC-AECID Painting Grant at the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome. Other recognition include the Madrid Region Artistic Creation Award, Injuve Art Show or "la Caixa" Foundation and the British Council Grant for Postgraduate Studies in the United Kingdom.

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Musa paradisiaca I, 2018.

Oil on linen canvas.

190 x 195 cm.

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Elaeis guineensis, 2018.

Oil on linen canvas.

90 x 140 cm.

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Zoulikha Bouabdellah

Zoulikha Bouabdellah is a French-Algerian artist, working and living in Casablanca, Morocco. Born in Moscow, 1977. Bouabdellah grew up in Algiers and moved to France in 1993. She is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts de Cergy-Pontoise in 2002.


Zoulikha Bouabdellah’s works -through installation, drawing, video and photography- deal with the effects of globalization and question their depictions with humour and subversion. In 2003, she directed the video Let's Dance (Dansons) in which she confuses the archetypes of French and Algerian cultures by performing a belly dance to the tune of the Marseillaise. The same year, her work featured in Experiments in the Arab Avant-garde at the French Cinémathèque (Paris). In 2005, Zoulikha Bouabdellah participated in the seminal exhibition Africa Remix at Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), and in 2008 in the festival Paradise Now! Essential Avant-Garde French Cinema 1890-2008 at the Tate Modern (London).


Since 2007, Bouabdellah’s works focus on letters and words of love, and particularly on the status of women. Made with different materials -paper, acrylic, aluminum, neon, wood- her works act as slogans and forge links between North and South, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, the visible and the untold.


She has exhibited at the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the Brooklyn Museum (New York), Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation (Vienna), the Museum Kunst Palast (Düsseldorf), the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts (New York), the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art (Doha) and the Moderna Museet (Stockholm). She has participated in several biennials and festivals including the Venice Biennale (2007), Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine in Bamako (2003), Thessaloniki Biennial (2011), Turin Triennale (2008) and the Aichi Triennale (2010). Her most recent exhibitions include The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists at National Museum of African Art (USA), at the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum, Savannah (USA); Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality & Body at the WIELS (Belgium) and at FRAC Lorraine (France); Lucy’s Iris at the MUSAC (Spain), at Rochechouart Museum (France) and at CAAM Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (Spain).

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Theseus Fighting The Minotaur, 2009-2016.

Black ink and red lacquer on paper.

150 x 100 cm.

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The question of meaning and understanding becomes increasingly important to avoid misunderstandings, to open up to other meanings and worldviews, to fight against archetypes, stereotypes, clichés, projections and conventions, and to allow new combinations and interpretations, meanings and multiple views.


Zoulikha Bouabdellah

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Bellerophon Slays The Chime, 2009-2016.

Black ink and red lacquer on paper.

150 x 100 cm.

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Theseus Slaying a Centaur, 2009-2016.

Black ink and red laquer on paper.

150 x 100 cm.

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Amina Benbouchta

Amina Benbouchta is a Moroccan artist, working and living in Casablanca, Morocco and Paris, France. Born in 1963.


For several years, Amina Benbouchta has developed a body of work that is rooted in the exploration of the limits of painting, transforming concepts and observations into picture, sculpture and installation. The diversity of mediums she explores, allows a full analyzation of the complex social structure of contemporary life.


Benbouchta was born in Casablanca (Morocco) in 1963, and lives and works between Paris and Casablanca. After graduating in 1986 in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies at McGill University, Montreal, she attended various workshops of drawing, lithography and etching in Paris. She was also an auditor at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris from 1988 to 1990. Her artistic-cultural concerns led her to run the fashion & culture magazine "Les Alignés”, during the 90’s. In 2005, she co-founded the Collectif 212, an organization dedicated to defending the emergence of a new phase of contemporary art in Morocco.


Her latest exhibitions include her participation to the First edition of the Rabat Biennal (Morocco), the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, (Netherlands), the acclaimed international exhibition Have You Seen A Horizon Lately? , curated by Mari Ann Yemsi at the MACAAL (Marrakech, Morocco), or Línies Vermelles - La Censura en la Col·lecció Tatxo Benet. Centre d’Art La Panera (Lleidá, Spain).

Since 1986, her work has been presented in Morocco and abroad in numerous institutions and contemporary art events, including The Cairo Biennial (1993), The French Institute of Casablanca (1995), The National Museum of Women and the Arts - Washington DC USA (1997), Kerava Museum - Finland (2003), The Museum of Marrakech (2004), The Casa Arabe Madrid (2008, 2013 and 2017), The Biennial of Alexandria (2009). In 2014, she participated in the inaugural exhibition of the Contemporary art center of Vienna and that same year her work was part of the inaugural exhibition of the Museum of Mohamed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat.

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Daydream, 2015.

Acrylic on cloth and miniature steel beds.

427 x 640 cm.

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In Amina Benbouchta’s minimalist paintings, the human aspects are just traces. Objects close to the artist - household items, bed, quadratures - are affixed in white on dark backgrounds. The dichotomy of colors echoes the duality of the titles of these paintings in tension. Amina Benbouchta says that the idea of ​​metamorphosis is linked to an important moment in her life when she reveals herself fully as an artist to others and to herself.




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Hope, 2014.

Acrylic on canvas.

160 x 150 cm.

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Raison / Passion, 2014.

Acrylic on canvas.

150 x 150 cm.

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Sans titre, 2011.

Print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta paper.

50 x 40 cm.

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Sans titre, 2012.

Print on Fine Art Baryta paper.

50 x 40 cm.

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Untitled (Black Heart), 2013.

Black resin.

18 x 14 x 24 cm.

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Lost Paradise 01, 2013.

C-print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta.

25 x 20 cm.

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Mónica de Miranda

Mónica de Miranda is a Portuguese artist, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal.

Born in Porto, Portugal in 1976.


Mónica de Miranda is an artist and researcher. Born in Porto (Portugal, 1976) from Angolan parents, she actually describes herself as an artist working in the diaspora. Her work is based on themes of urban archaeology and personal geographies.

She holds a Visual Arts Degree from the Camberwell College of Arts, a Master’s Degree in Art and Education from the Institute of Education London and a PhD in Visual Art from the University of Middlesex. Mónica is also one of the founders of the artistic residences project Triangle Network in Portugal, and she founded in 2014 the project Hangar Center for Artistic Research, in Lisbon. In 2016, she was nominated for Novo Banco Photo Prize and exhibited at Museu Coleção Berado (Lisbon, Portugal) as finalist. Mónica was also nominated for Prix Pictet Photo Award in the same year.

Her group exhibitions include: Doublethink: Double vision at the Pera Museum in Istanbul (Turkey, 2017); Le jour qui vient at the Galerie des Galeries in Paris (France, 2017); Contemporary African Art and Aesthetics of Translations at the Dakar Biennial (Senegal, 2016); Telling Time at the Rencontres de Bamako Biennale Africaine de la Photographie 10éme edition (Mali, 2015); Ilha de São Jorge at the 14th Biennial of Architecture of Venezia (Italy, 2014); Do you hear me at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Portugal, 2008) and United Nations at the Singapore Fringe Festival (Singapore, 2007).

Mónica de Miranda has participated in various residencies in institutions such as the Tate Britain, French Institute, British Council/Iniva. She exhibits regularly and internationally since 2004.

Her work is present in public collections like the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbekian, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado and Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa. 


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Untitled, 2018.

Inkjet print on cotton paper.

60 x 160 cm.

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The ballerina also speaks of this contrast, how we position the ballerina off her stage, of her comfort zone and she goes wondering the city. This fragile female figure, how does she relate to a more urban male space and all this contrast that is the city of Luanda, the old and the new, which sometimes does not communicate. This fragility in the midst of a harsh reality that is the city, which is still being defined… with many opposites, with many contradictions.


Mónica de Miranda




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Tombé, 2017.

Inkjet print on cotton paper.

40 x 60 cm.

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Assemblé, 2018.

Inkjet print on cotton paper.

60 x 90 cm.


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Timothy Hyunsoo Lee

Timothy Hyunsoo Lee (b.1990) is an artist born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in New York City, and currently lives and works between New York and Madrid, Spain. He was educated at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT, USA) with a degree in neuroscience, drawing, and developmental biology.


As a first-generation immigrant in the United States, Timothy was uprooted from Seoul and transplanted into New York, where he developed a lasting anxiety attempting to reconcile his perceived and received identities – both culturally and racially. Trained in the laboratory sciences with a focus on behavioral neurobiology, Timothy approaches his art through an analytic lens yet his practice results in abstract conversations about transient lives and ephemeral states of being. As a result, his current body of work covers many themes – of racial politics, of migration, of death and legacy, and of sexuality.


His practice is rooted in an investigation into the rituals we adopt in confronting childhood traumas, and he uses his personal experiences as vectors for a universal narrative on physical, spiritual, and emotional loss. Timothy responds to objects or environments of his childhood obsessions and often uses repetition as a method of navigating the anxiety he developed from the immigration process – a pivotal point in his life when he felt he lost a part of his identity. He is interested in the religious and spiritual significance of counting, which is executed across paintings, sculptures, installations, and textiles, and through the action create what he calls “structures of salvation” in their passing – a nod to his upbringing in a clerical family. From manic drawings and text-based works, to soft sculptures and delicate watercolor paintings, Timothy imbues the materials of his labor with existential concern, and his works highlight the gestures of the past, the forming of legacy, and the salvation of (his) identity.


Timothy’s works have been included in significant national and international exhibitions at venues such as the Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC, USA), The Wallach Gallery of Columbia University (New York), The Studio Museum (New York), The National YoungArts Foundation Gallery (Miami, FL) and in solo presentations at the 2018 Armory Show (New York) and the 2018 India Art Fair (New Delhi). His works and his practice have been featured and reviewed in EL MUNDO, Le Quotidien de l'Art, GALERIE MAGAZINE, ARTSY, The Art Newspaper, VOGUE India, AESTHETICA Magazine and the Harvard Advocate. He was recently commissioned by the MTA Arts & Design to create a public art project for their Stewart Manor LIRR station in Garden City, New York. His works are included in private and public collections around the world, including Facebook (Seattle, WA, USA), The MTA Arts & Design (New York), The Cleveland Clinic (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), The Basu Foundation for the Arts (Kolkata, India), and Foundation DOP (Caracas, Venezuela).

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Mitosis (finding the light) I, 2019.

Watercolor and gold leaf on paper.

131 x 95 cm.

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Mitosis (finding the light) I, 2019.

Watercolor and gold leaf on paper.

131 x 95 cm.

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:mentalKLINIK

:mentalKLINIK is a Brussels-based artist duo from Istanbul composed of Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir who began their collaborative practice in 1998. The duo has a reactionary, open laboratory approach to process, production, roles, conception and presentation. This vocabulary gives their work a relationship with different references and background. Their work is a mix of oxymora and paradoxes, darkly humorous, self-contained and as much concerned with the total effect of accelerated capitalism as with the invisible politics and dynamics that define our everyday lives. :mentalKLINIK's oeuvre is droll and can look very playful and fun but at the same time, it is violent, abrasive and very questioning of the world we live in. Eschewing themes of identity, history and memory, their works range from immersive time based installations to sculptures and objects that thwart categorization. 

 

In 2020, :mentalKLINIK has exhibited with a solo show titled Bitter Medicine #01 Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, curated by Carl de Smedt, and the second iteration of it at the Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey. Some of their internationally renowned exhibitions include: Tomorrow Now at MUDAM, Luxembourg in 2007; PuFF at Art Basel 40 (2009), Art Unlimited, Switzerland; and solo museum shows such as Fresh- Cut (2013) at MAK, Vienna and Co-operation Would be Highly Appreciated (2015) at SCAD Museum Georgia, USA. In the Summer 2021 :mentalKLINIK will present their first solo exhibition in Madrid at Sabrina Amrani. 

We create our own vocabularies; material vocabulary, sound vocabulary… all sorts of sensuous vocabularies. We build our story by associating these various parts and vocabularies within a network. […] Today it is impossible to talk of a single thing, a linear approach to history. After all these fractures, we now have fragmented identities. And what we are doing is like archeology; we are like the archeologists of today. Thus, our narrative is always fragmented and interwoven.


:mentalKLINIK



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Liar - 1108, 2011.

Glass, Micro-Layered Polyester Films,

Anodized Aluminium, Liquid Polymer Resin.

111,5 x 111 cm.

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Babak Golkar

Babak Golkar is a Canadian artist, working and living in Vancouver, Canada. Born in Berkeley, US, 1977.


Babak Golkar was born in Berkeley in 1977. He spent most of his formative years in Tehran until 1996 when he migrated to Vancouver, where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Emily Carr Institute in 2003 and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in 2006. Since then, Golkar has been researching diverse subjects and cultivating a conceptual vocabulary and has developed an active career exhibiting works globally. His subjects of research have especially emerged from an interest in spatial analysis in relation to our contemporary systemic conditions that are overpowering human conditions. In merging and examining originally discrete systems and forms, asserting underlying unity as well as antagonistic elements, Golkar engages a critical inquiry into cultural and socio-economical registers.


Recently he mounted a solo exhibition at West Vancouver Museum entitled, “Dialectic of Failure”, in which a series of small terracotta scream-pots alongside a video projection and two photographs examined the painstaking and delicate nature of compromise and negotiation between dichotomies—historicism and modernity, art and craft, modern reasoning and traditional mysticism. 


Through a variety of forms, including drawing, print, ceramics, sculpture and installation, Babak Golkar has developed a form-based dialectical investigation into human conditions of contemporary time.


A reiterative engagement with syncretic strategies has generated a practice that resides in a juxtaposition of disparate traditions. These strategies involve merging and examining originally discrete systems and forms, asserting underlying unity as well as antagonistic elements. By extension, new forms and meanings emerge from re-contextualization.


An underlying current in Golkar’s work is the inquiry into the individual’s compromise and negotiation when faced with the suppression and emotional distress of contemporary human conditions. A driving force behind recent projects has been a contention of perspective. Skewing the asserted certainty of perspective and questioning its formal grounds for reference and subsequent ideological stance. Exploring the physical position of the body in relationship to form, the physical points of reference, stance and spacial relationships, which subsequently echo a historical, cultural, political stance of mind.

In "Impositions", layers of titanium white acrylic paint are applied to the surface of handmade persian carpets, turning the ornamented patterns into a monochrome painting. However, no matter how thick the paint is applied the patterns and colors continuously emerge, transmuting the pure white painting into slightly pastel tones. Through this physical process of layering and additive erasure, a significant and valuable cultural artifact, which is often ignored as a piece of domestic decoration in a larger architectural context, loses its value by defacement. Yet, it gains value through another cultural process: that of turning into a Monochrome. It is precisely this re-contextualization that is at the core of the Impositions. Consequently, these monochromes problematize the institutional legitimacy of form through the Modernist discourse and thus re-contextualize both the carpets and the monochrome painting in order to facilitate a dialogue.
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Imposition #12, 2016.

Acrylic paint and hand-made persian carpet.

90 x 40 cm.

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Waqas Khan

Waqas Khan’s large scale minimalist drawings resemble webs and celestial expanses. The contemplation leaving a visible evidence on paper is the crux of the work.


Khan employs small dashes and minuscule dots to create large entanglements. Where when two particle-sque units are spread out and entangled, they are essentially ‘in sync’ with each other, and they’ll stay in sync no matter how far apart they are. This idea of togetherness and being seen one as a magnanimous totality is what he partly absorbs from his inclination towards literature and interest in the lives of sufi poets. Khan’s work also evoke a sense of scripting, which he likes to see as a discourse between him and his viewer, a dialogue which is very much formatted over the syntax of a monologue.


Graduated as a printmaker, Waqas envisage through his work a view of an autonomous entity and identity, analogous to and following the same developmental patterns as some biological organism.


His most recent group shows include Doublethink:doublevision, curated by Allistair Hicks, Tania Bahar and Begum Akkoyunlu at Pera Museum in Istanbul (Turkey); Decor, curated by Tino Sehgal, Dorothea von Hantelmann and Asad Raza at the Fondation Boghossian - Villa Empain, in Brussels (Belgium); Between Structure and Matter: Other Minimal Futures curated by Murtaza Vali at Aicon Gallery, New York (USA); Dhaka Art Summit curated by Diana Campbell-Bethancourt in Dhaka (Bangladesh), and Nada temas, dice ella curated by Rosa Martínez at the Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid (Spain). In 2013, he was shortlisted for the prestigious Jameel Art Prize at the V&A.


Waqas Khan's works are part of prestigious public collections such as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London (UK); the Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt (Germany); the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the Devi Foundation, both in New Delhi (India).

Waqas's works are meticulous surfaces made with a single tool designed for the viewer's gaze to dance infinitely on them, in the same way that we sit in silence and observe the world around us, contemplating the wide sky full of stars, or diving into the infinite depths of the ocean.
The final intention of his work is to grant the viewer the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the infinite, the power of philosophical awareness, and the visual effects produced on the viewer's retina, depending on the viewer's gaze.
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Alphabets I, 2019.

Archival ink on wasli paper.

50 x 76 cm.

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