The Same Moon Above Us. A Tunisian Tale
Exhibition Dates: 16th September - 15th October 2021
Artists: Sana Badri, Safouane Ben Slama, Oumayma B. Tanfous, Kaïs Dhifi, Souheila Ghorbel, Salem Jabou, Jawher Ouni, Nyzar Trabxlsi
Curator: Estelle Marois
In this online exhibition hosted by P21 Gallery, eight artists from Tunisia and its diaspora come together to dig into personal & collective memory - materialising it though image and particularly photography.
Time is passing unconcernedly; so are locations, sneaking away below our feet. Jawher Ouni, Salem Jabou, Oumayma B. Tanfous are going back to childhood places, where community life, family activity and ancestral practices continue to unfold peacefully. Kaïs Dhifi is interrogating spaces where nomads arrived to, stayed at, and departed from, leaving behind them mysterious artefacts hinting at them being there. Souheila Ghorbel is having a Proustian millefeuille at a train station, one of these « non-places » (Marc Augé) for encounters and goodbyes that turn us all into nomads. Safouane Ben Slama is looking for common human gestures of togetherness across borders and seas. Sana Badri uses photography to foster a sense of familiarity among displaced communities in London. Taking a step back from photography, Nyzar Trabxlsi proposes illustrations playing around its codes and challenging the idea of a pure representation - as a reminder to keep a critical mind in approaching the photographic image, especially in the Tunisian socio-historical context.
In this exhibition, photographers, subjects and viewers all say - as Roland Barthes put it: «it once was», or « it has been». Which both signals melancholia for past things - and absolute trust in their reality, absolute certainty that «it» cannot not have been. « I have always known this dry environment,» Jawher asserts, «I have always known these people.» «The nostalgia is the immaterial form of a memory and sometimes the oblivion. The photography is its material form,» Souheila adds. Its ability to fixate what’s left is what makes photography so reassuring, as well as inevitably threatening. An immense pulling effort to bring back a last trace, a trustworthy trace, but also a breeding ground for infinite melancholia.
For all media enquiries please contact the curator Estelle Marois on: firstname.lastname@example.org or P21 Gallery: email@example.com, Tel. +44 20 7121 6190
The exhibition is supported by the Art Council England and HUB Collective.