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Mohammed Alani

Curator: Philippe Braem

1159 En Féronstrée

It has been almost five years since we first met. I was preparing at the time, for the Venice Biennale, the Pavilion of Iraq, the country where you were born. The meeting was more than just a workshop visit. In a space locate somewhere in Forest, a sort of empty garage, you had prepared a small exhibition. You thought it was important that I could physically experience your work, instead of showing me a series of photos on your computer screen. The meeting was a real invitation to observe, to feel a transformation, to play a game. And this game, we call it art. It is therefore essential to look at the capacity to give, through the imagination, another meaning to things. The cap of a water bottle can easily become a city for a child. A tree branch can even turn into a bus. As an artist, you play, of course, but seriously, after having thought about it and weighed it well. What most of us throw and throw away becomes the raw material for your artwork. And just like Picasso, who put together a saddle and handlebars on a bicycle to create an assembly, you put things together by connecting them to each other, juxtaposing them, tying them temporarily. Each artwork is like an idea, a photo that has not yet been taken, an impulse or a thought. It shows us where to look, invites us to connect form and space. Moreover, the spectator often becomes part, protagonist, accomplice, especially in performances. The spectator becomes a carrier, a base, and therefore sees himself reduced to a simple object. The moments are modeled in the image of a sculptor who shapes a face in clay. Mohammed Alani borrows or quotes not only visible elements of recent art history, but also principles that he overturns. Nevertheless, Mohammed Alani is above all an artist who, intuitively, constructs images that enhance the banality of everyday life with playful simplicity.


Philippe Van Cautere