Ebb&flow on power and loss at Galerie Tanit

Ebb&flow on power and loss at Galerie Tanit 

This exhibition brings together two different bodies of work, Eulogy to my Roots by Elias Nafaa in dialogue with How to Stop a Rock from Growing by the duo Laetitia Hakim & Tarek Haddad, curated by Marc Mouarkech, that explore the interplay between power and loss, drawing on both personal and collective experiences.

It offers a thought-provoking exploration of how power dynamics shape our experience of loss, and how our perceptions, memories, and interpretations of loss can, in turn, shape our political realities. This interplay hints at a cyclical pattern of growth and decline, which is dependent on specific circumstances, historical events, and a series of actions, reactions, and inactions.

In Laetitia Hakim and Tarek Haddad’s How to Stop a Rock from Growing, the paradox of power is studied to understand the dynamics of social systems. The project, born out of frustration in the face of political stagnation during the October 2019 revolution, explores power imbalances in a metaphorical Rock-Paper-Scissors game, in which the loss of one element renders the field unequal. The artists examine questions such as how dominance is maintained and challenged, what heightens our susceptibility to damage and collapse, and what renders our state meaningless and incoherent. By delving into the notions of changes in rules and loss of equilibrium, while investigating the material characteristics of the elements of the game, the duo presents a visual commentary on power struggle, fragility, and absurdity.

In Eulogy to my Roots, Elias Nafaa takes us through the processions of grief. He delves into the internal dynamics of uprooting, rerouting, and total downfall. In the aftermath of a fire that consumed his land and the passing of his grand-father, Nafaa longs for detachment. Choosing to get away from the communal grief, although hinting at some of its rituals, the artist goes through a very personal dissociative process, aiming to separate land and man. His work takes the form of reliefs commemorating the act of liberation. However, he seeks to question it at the end: would uprooting oneself, getting away from our anchors, lead to true freedom? Should we accept the cost of disillusionment and decline to gain said freedom? And how do we adapt our conflicting emotions and memories to the complex nature of loss?

Ranging from contemplative and introspective to bold and confrontational, these bodies of work serve to engage the artists and the public in a dialogue on the depths of the interrelation between power and loss, examining the consequences of their ebb and flow.

Elias Nafaa, Stagnation, 2023, Cedar Wood Shrouded in White Paint Variable Dimensions Edition-of-2-+-2-AP

Ebb&flow on power and loss
Location: Galerie Tanit, Mar Mikhael

Duration: March 9 – April 22 2023

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