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Modern Times mounir fatmi


Š 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. ISBN 978-0-9968659-3-7


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Alumni Miami Beach Urban Studios

CAssociation OLLEGE OF A RCHITECTURE + T HE A RTS


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Contents 05 08 10 34 48 59

Abo ut t he Exhibit io n Exhibit io n Imag es Sleep Al Naim Video Mo der n T imes Video Hist o r y is No t Mine Video Credit s


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Friday, June 5, 2015 through Friday, August 28, 2015


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This exhibition consists of a trio of video works by Paris-based and Morrocan-born mounir fatmi. Modern Times, the centerpiece, was made in 2010 as a response to the accelerated construction of the metropolis in Arab countries that he felt mirrored the dynamism of the Western industrial revolution of the early 1900s. Events such as the 2011 protests and rebellions that spread across the Middle East, known as The Arab Spring, have potentially shifted the meaning of fatmi’s elegantly constructed rendering of a machine composed of Arabic script. The other two videos explicitly reference censorship and sensitivity around language. Sleep, for instance, is a 3D rendering of Salman Rushdie, who is well known for having written about the life of Muhammed that resulted in a fatwa, or call to murder for blasphemy. fatmi depicts him soundly sleeping despite the heightened situation. The other video, History is not Mine, is a response to the artist’s own disillusionment of censure of a work in which he used images of the Koran that were presented not as the artist had intended. In this video, the artist finds himself unable to mobilize and shape language. All the works deal with language in different and not always literal ways, but overall the installation of the three works is meant to bring to the surface the slipperiness of interpretation rather than contain it as singular.


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection Quietly powerful, Sleep responds directly to a vendetta from 1989, which punished Salman Rushdie for a literary novel he published fictionalizing the life of Mohammed. This ongoing and universal fatwa–the call to murder the writer for blasphemy–has inspired fatmi to make him the subject. Here the sleeping Rushdie is actually a meticulously rendered 3D construct combined with the artist’s own breathing body. It loosely references Andy Warhol’s 1963 film of the same name, when he captured his sleeping friend. Yet in this case what is loaded and layered are the vulnerabilities and strengths of the admired author who must live his life sometimes in the shadows. Unfortunately and ironically, Sleep Al Naim has also been the victim of censorship, withdrawn from several exhibitions in fear, since the 2015 Charlie Hebdo and kosher grocery store massacres in France.


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Click here to view an excerpt of Sleep on YouTube.


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Sleep Al Naim (still detail), 2005-2012 Video, HD, B&W, Stereo 26 minutes Private Collection


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Les Temps Modernes, une Histoire de la Machine (Modern Times, A History of the Machine), 2010 Video installation, HD, B&W, Stereo 15 minutes Collection Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha Modern Times is a visual feast of gradually constructed moving parts and the buildingup of sounds that are at once reminiscent of child’s toys and carnival rides, or speeding locomotives. Yet this is instead the serious stuff of our adult world–a narrative that comments on our relationship to the machine, as well as recent socio-political events such as the 2011 protests and rebellions that spread across the Middle East, known as The Arab Spring. Here fatmi references vintage Arabic calligraphic writings and verses–more for their visual beauty than for their meanings, and has paired them with the iconic Charlie Chaplin film of the same name from 1936. There is at once provided a sense of wonder at modernity and fragility found in the latter while also commenting on the sometimesheartbreaking futility of revolutionary social change.


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Click here to view an excerpt of Modern Times on YouTube.


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Les Temps Modernes, une Histoire de la Machine (Modern Times, A History of the Machine), 2010 Video installation, HD, B&W, Stereo 15 minutes Collection Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha


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Les Temps Modernes, une Histoire de la Machine (Modern Times, A History of the Machine), 2010 Video installation, HD, B&W, Stereo 15 minutes Collection Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha


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Les Temps Modernes, une Histoire de la Machine (Modern Times, A History of the Machine), 2010 Video installation, HD, B&W, Stereo 15 minutes Collection Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha


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Les Temps Modernes, une Histoire de la Machine (Modern Times, A History of the Machine), 2010 Video installation, HD, B&W, Stereo 15 minutes Collection Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha


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L’Histoire n’est pas à moi (History is Not Mine), 2013 Video installation, HD, Color, Stereo 5 minutes Private Collection The work’s title, History Is Not Mine, is a riff on fatmi’s 2012 French exhibition History Is Mine from which the artist’s projection consisting of calligraphic verses of the Koran was eventually removed. The latter was a result of protests that ensued after the accidental projection of the work on a public footbridge before fatmi was able to provide barriers to prevent pedestrians from stepping upon images of the Koran. A lusciously shot response to dogma and the subsequent suppression of art, the work depicts the artist himself as the typist failing to key the title. It registers as comedy, but what ultimately remains is complete absurdity. Here the nearly velvety gradations of grays and blacks are juxtaposed with the more ominous band of the color red to “hammer” home the pleasures and perils of articulating an opinion. History neatly intersects with the suppression of another work in this exhibition: Sleep Al Naim.


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L’Histoire n’est pas à moi (History is Not Mine) (still detail), 2013 Video installation, HD, Color, Stereo 5 minutes Private Collection


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Click here to view History is Not Mine in its entirety.


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L’Histoire n’est pas à moi (History is Not Mine) (still detail), 2013 Video installation, HD, Color, Stereo 5 minutes Private Collection


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L’Histoire n’est pas à moi (History is Not Mine) (still detail), 2013 Video installation, HD, Color, Stereo 5 minutes Private Collection


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L’Histoire n’est pas à moi (History is Not Mine) (still detail), 2013 Video installation, HD, Color, Stereo 5 minutes Private Collection


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L’Histoire n’est pas à moi (History is Not Mine) (still detail), 2013 Video installation, HD, Color, Stereo 5 minutes Private Collection


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Alumni Association


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FIU's Miami Beach Urban Studios is generously supported by the city of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council. Modern Times is organized by Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory in collaboration with MFA in Visual Arts: Curatorial Practice candidates Meg Kaplan-Noach and Danielle Damas. Exhibition assistance provided by Joe Locke, Jacek Kolasinski, and MFA candidate Colette Alhabahbeh-Mello. Special thanks to Aline Biasutto of studio fatmi. Edited by Kelley Antoniazzi-Taksier Alpesh Kantilal Patel Photography Henry Taksier Catalog Design Kelley Antoniazzi-Taksier


Fin.

Profile for Kelley Antoniazzi-Taksier

mounir fatmi | Modern Times  

Modern Times consists of a trio of recent video works by Paris-based and Morrocon-born mounir fatmi. They loosely explore the terror, violen...

mounir fatmi | Modern Times  

Modern Times consists of a trio of recent video works by Paris-based and Morrocon-born mounir fatmi. They loosely explore the terror, violen...

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