The Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain is exceptionally closed on Thursday 20 June. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you from Friday 21 June, until 8 September for the visit of the exhibition Josef and Anni Albers.

The Boghossian Foundation presented Instantanés d’Orient, a selection of photographs from the Biennal of contemporary photographers from the Arab world shown in Paris at the Arab world institute as well as at the European house of photography in 2017.

The group exhibition at the Villa Empain explores the contemporary Arab world through the diverse viewpoints of six photographers: Jaber Al Azmeh, Moath Alofi, Mouna Karray, Rania Matar, Douraïd Souissi et Stephan Zaubitzer.

These artists – from Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Germany – capture original portraits and troubling landscapes through their series of snapshots.

Jack Lang, President of the Arab world institute, affirms : “Photography remains an incomparable indicator of the astonishing upheaval shaping the Arab world.” These images, which the artists choose to conjure up from reality, are both symbolic tales and imaginary storytellings perpetually placing the Arab world between fantasy and reality.

Exploring contemporary creative photography in this region helps bring to light the diversity of the concerns facing the photographers who live and work in the Arab world, and helps to connect each of their practices whether they are conceptual, material, or documentary.

This mix of interests and inspirations enhances the comparions between the works. Each of the exhibited artists has his or her own journey, but they have all been selected for their strong commitment and for the closeness they have with the themes they address and express through their images.

We can also highlight the links between the pieces and the intentions behind them, all drawn from a shared history: crossing territories; letting landscapes speak for themselves; questioning a generation; documenting a heritage, a culture; describing a society. Sublimating reality or moving away from it.

In contrast to the violent images of the numerous conflicts underway in the region which fuel the Arab media, the artists presented in this exhibition all show a great amount of freedom in their artistic approach by developing a personal and unique view on the world around them.

« Committed and deeply but just as often stilted. »

De Standaard, 17 December 2017
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