After the Canal there was only "our" world
Artists presented at the exhibition: Ibrahim Ahmed, Amado Alfadni, Meriç Algün, Pavel Brăila, Chto delat?, Shatha Al-Deghady, Marianne Fahmy, Iulia Toma.
“The sea is walking in the streets”, wrote Mahmoud Darwish in 1982, in his Memory for Forgetfulness, during an actual siege replete with cuts of the water supply to the city and rocket fire trails. Yet in more recent years “Europe under siege” has become a curiously common phrase describing a landlocked imaginary full of fears, not so much of the underground streams gushing forth from the darkness beneath, but of the external seas walking on European streets and the threat of aberrant fires.
As this imaginary is already acting out in mass violence in the seas connecting Europe’s landmass to the Global South and in renewed, nationalist claims of land
For his part, Darwish inserted the little story of the philosophical refugee Kamal, who stole a boat and rowed from Tyre to Haifa in search of a dove “that no one else knew about”, becoming—through his own death at the hands of coast guards—that wave of exile that “comes back and gets lost”. While looking for renewed connections, we have concentrated on the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 as a vortex-making historical event. On its trail, a myriad of little histories may have gotten lost, but they keep coming back in and over our heads.
In a decisive but insufficiently recalled
This exhibition is an invitation to explore a variety of historical and geographical connections between Europe, especially its Easts, and the Middle East, particularly Egypt, with the Suez Canal as the trigger, while contemplating their reflections in the mirror of the present. We want to stimulate discussion about issues rippling from the Canal story, unravelling the concentric layers of references, occurrences and encounters that have sedimented in the 150 years since the Canal was inaugurated. These are issues that continue to be relevant today, just as they were at different decisive moments throughout this common history: Orientalism (and its unchallenged relation to the Orient of Europe); migration; refugees, and the difficulty of making
After The Canal… is an exhibition of contemporary art constructed upon a historical background, where multiple references and relationships between the works and the materials are presented in such a way that at least some meanings are created for the place and time where it takes place. The research method used
Production: Museum and Galleries of LjubljanaCooperation partner: tranzit.ro/București, supported by ERSTE FoundationExhibition curator: Raluca Voinea in collaboration with Ovidiu ȚichindeleanuArtists: Ibrahim Ahmed, Amado Alfadni, Meriç Algun, Pavel Brăila, Chto delat?, Shatha Al-Deghady, Marianne Fahmy, Iulia TomaWith contributions/ collaborations by: Metod Pevec, Phyllis Mackenzie, Jessica Couzelis, Josip Hatze, Serghei Iachimov, The African-Balkan-Caribbean SocietyDesign: Ajdin BašićExhibition installation: Technical services of MGMLThe exhibition was made possible by: City of Ljubljana, Department for Culture
Research for the exhibition supported through a travel grant offered by Foundation for Arts Initiatives.
Courtesy of: gaep Gallery, Bucharest; Ivan Gallery, Bucharest; Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm; The Gallery Apart, Rome; Ettore Fico Museum Collection, Turin; Mophradat, Brussels
Special thanks to: Alenka Gregoric, Eduard Constantin, William Wells, Alexandra Stock, Basim Magdy, Mona Abouissa, Andrea Thal, Livia Pancu, Heide Wihrheim
1 January, 1 November, 25 December: Closed
24 and 31 December: 11:00–14:00