‘À Corps Perdu’ by Sirine Germani and Shawki Youssef at No/mad Utopia

‘À Corps Perdu’ at No/mad Utopia delves into the fraught experience of inhabiting our bodies and encountering others. Artists Sirine Germani and Shawki Youssef explore the tension between surrender and immersion in the world, portraying human figures that merge with painterly landscapes. They highlight the cultural, emotional, and political significance of the human body, examining its layers of meaning, from loss to intense engagement, and its struggle for peace.

Shawki Youssef, Untitled, 2024, Mixed media on fabric, 100x70 cm
Shawki Youssef, Untitled, 2024, Mixed media on fabric, 100×70 cm

Their work navigates between the body as flesh and myth, revealing connections between humanity and the natural world. They strip the body from sociocultural and political pressures, bringing it closer to its original environment. Organic and inorganic elements, from blooming flowers to pebbles and expansive fields, blend with remnants of human existence.

Germani and Youssef underscore the human need for physical connection, depicting bodies as tactile, bloodied, and compressed under pressure. Yet, these bodies are familiar yet tentative, riding an infinite scroll of images that invite emotional reactions and superficial judgments from a distance, devoid of touch and smell.

Sirine Germani, Adonis, 2021, Huile sur toile, 170x130cm
Sirine Germani, Adonis, 2021, Huile sur toile, 170x130cm

Germani infuses raw emotion into each figure, systematically mutilating yet preserving them with melancholy or rage. She reconstitutes them with a feminine perspective, highlighting the violence inflicted upon bodies and calling for an end to suffering. Inorganic elements, symbolizing the male gaze, appear as frozen traces on her works.

Youssef, in contrast, blends post-human landscapes with bodies, dissolving boundaries between flesh and nature. His work merges organic forms with topographical features, creating a fluid blend of the tangible and ghostly. He emphasizes the fragility of matter with rough, layered surfaces that evoke history, transformation, and the unity of animal, vegetal, and mineral realms.

In ‘À Corps Perdu’, the artists weave stories of disintegration and reconstruction, reflecting patterns of change and continuity. Their works echo the complexities of contemporary society, urging a more thoughtful consideration of the bodies we consume through images.

Shawki Youssef
Shawki Youssef

About Sirine Germani

Sirine Germani is a Lebanese painter and researcher with an MFA from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at Université Panthéon-Assas, focusing on cultural homogenization in the global art market and Western cultural hegemony.

About Shawki Youssef

Shawki Youssef moved to Beirut in 1990 to study fine arts and intercultural mediation. His work addresses the conditions of contemporary Lebanese society, often depicting fragmented and tortured body parts, reflecting social trauma and vulnerability.

About Marie Tomb

Marie Tomb is a historian, curator, and writer specializing in Modern and Contemporary arts from the MENA region. Trained at Yale University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, she collaborates with regional institutions and lectures in Beirut.

Location: No/mad Utopia, Gemmayze, Lebanon

Dates: From July 4 to July 17, 2024



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