Via senese 68, 50124, Florence
18.03. – 29.4.2022
curated by Davood Madadpoor and Katharina Ehrl (Sumac Space)
On Friday, March 18, Villa Romana will open The Tellers, a group exhibition of five artists—Mohamed Abdelkarim, Ali Eslami, Maha Maamoun, Basim Magdy, Islam Shabana.
The exhibition investigates possible future scenarios, inviting us to experience an imaginary and fluctuating time where the future is inextricably linked to the present and the past. Intuitive speculations are narrated through storytelling, referring to objects, places, or events located in the future or relegated to the distant past, imaginary or traumatic enough to escape memory. The aim is to invent new myths and propose new visions, questioning forgotten and removed history and using it as an escape route and an opportunity for social criticism. For the five artists, storytelling involves examining existing narratives and striving to construct truths that lie outside the dominant cultural history. These artists invite us to see through the eyes of the other, welcome us into their new worlds and push us towards the evanescent line that subtly distinguishes the real from the imaginary.
“After The Green Wave of Iran in 2009, I have always carried with me a duality of optimism and anxiety about the future”, says Davood Madadpoor, co-curator of the exhibition, “a future that I will never be able to articulate as a time-based event. Rather, I would like to see my future as scrolling through a timeline on a post-production application, one that I can navigate freely without an obligation to “snap” to a specific date.”
In conjunction with The Tellers, on Saturday 19 March, starting at 11.00 a.m., Villa Romana will host a symposium aimed at providing food for thought on the key topics of the exhibition, thanks to the contributions of Raffaella Baccolini (University of Bologna, Forlì Campus), Nat Muller (independent curator, writer and academic) and Santiago Zabala (research professor in philosophy at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain). The meeting will be closed by a public discussion and a performance by Mohamed Abdelkarim.
The exhibition and symposium are curated by Davood Madadpoor and Katharina Ehrl, founders of Sumac Space.
Sumac Space is a platform devoted to Contemporary Art from the Middle East through digital programs, critical writing, and research. In particular, Sumac Space focuses on dialogues as a medium for presenting diverse forms of research. This format stimulates interaction and polyvocality and encourages critical thinking and intimate conversation that is not limited by physical distance or particular means of expression. Sumac Space also uses digital programs to activate the role of artists and curators in re-imagining and shaping our times and aims to provide a public space for their research and diverse forms of expression.