Layover 01 Paris
The Exile Pavillon
Layover 01 Paris
National Archives Museum
“I am like one who wore his brick to show the world how was his home.”_Bertolt Brecht
Often I was asked this question: how do I see myself as an artist? My answer has always been the same: I consider myself an immigrant worker. My job is to consider what it is to be an artist, when he feels different from in his own cultural context, even in his own role.
With this necessity, this permanent need to think of exile, the project of the Exile Pavilion was born as a traveling project, offering a parallel cartography, a free geography of temporary exhibitions, with stops in different countries.
The project raises the question of exile as a new space to be re-invented, to be rethought and finally to be invested. It wants to question both the global and specific links between various forms of displacement, whether the migrant worker’s situation, the expatriate, the refugee or the exile of war, natural disasters, economic problems, and political or racial persecutions.
The Exile Pavilion will make its first stop in the French National Archives Museum in Paris, a city that was home to some of the leading avant-garde artists of the twentieth century during a time in which exile led to lasting artistic changes and developments. In the current issues of identity and migration, it is important to highlight the depth of artwork and creativity produced during this movement. If exile is a chance, then is to return a fantasy? This first layover of Exile Pavilion proposes to confront this idea directly and will feature several leading contemporary artists who explore this issue in their work.
The exhibition will offer a range of work and artistic interventions set throughout the antechamber and in the windows of the National Archives Museum and will include a special video program in the projection room.
mounir fatmi, June 30, 2016
Françoise Banat-Berger, Archives Nationales de Paris, mounir fatmi, Romain Tichit, YIA Art Fair, Ali Assaf, Benjamin Bertrand, Carlos Aires, Dan Perjovschi, Dania Reymond, Delphine Bedel, Gérard Fromanger, Guillaume Chamahian, Guy Limone, mounir fatmi, Nelly Agassi, Nelson Pernisco, Nikos Charalambidis, Orlando Britto Jinorio, Said Afifi, Blaire Dessent, Patrick Haour, Marie Chris- tine Gailloud-Matthieu, Joede Chraa, Marc Mercier, Pierre-Olivier Rollin, Nicole Brenez, Barba- ra Polla, Nabil Chraa, Jane Lom- bard New York, Thierry Destriez, Thierry Raspail, Sam Bardaouil, Till Briegleb, Sandra Dagher, Nicole Gingras, Lina Laazar, Paolo Colombo, Agnès Violeau, Chris- tian Alandete , Franck Hermann Ekra, Ali Akay, Elvira Dyangani, Brahim Alaoui, Goodman Gal- lery, Johannesburg, Cape Town.
Layover 02 Marseille
Layover 03 Saint-Louis
mounir fatmi interviewed by Marie Moignard September 21st, 2017
Marie Moignard: In 2013 in Casablanca, “The Straight Line” was a strongly autobiographical exhibit. Today, the pieces you present tend to focus on displacement. Do you feel like an “exiled” artist?
mounir fatmi: “The Straight Line” in 2013 wasn’t just an autobiographical exhibit: it had several levels of meaning up for interpretation. First and foremost, I tried to show that the individual is linked to the world, that my own little history is linked to the great history of the world. There was also another level of meaning, which had to do with the question of the nature of man confronted with the nature that surrounds us. Of course, all this gravitates around the work of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. In fact, his work is present again in the Exile Pavilion project. But going back to your question, yes, I am an exiled artist. I live in permanent exile. I think that the notion of exile is a situation that has permeated throughout the entire history of humanity. It isn’t contemporary. Exile has always been perceived as a problem, because it usually happens at a critical moment in time, war, crisis, when people are faced with the gravest difficulties and catastrophes, whether natural or human. Despite borders and flags, we are all potentially in migration, even if only because of the uncertainty of the situation of the world. Ultimately, I think that leaving your country for another is a rather traumatizing situation. From this necessity to flee, exile can be perceived as a therapy, a work on oneself.
MM: Tangiers is your hometown, a city that has become the Moroccan metropolis showcasing the country’s development, but also a gateway to Europe for migrants from Africa. Is it symbolic to show your work in this city, ten years after your last exhibit there?
mf: Tangiers is a city of exiles of all sorts. Those that come to seek a bygone era, with a certain nostalgia that tourist guides sell them. Others come to brave the sea, to cross over to the other side. There are also domestic exiles, those that live there and have never left. My father for example never traveled to another country. He spent his entire life in Morocco, particularly in Tangiers. He often told me that Tangiers was the most beautiful city in the world, without ever having visited any other city to be able to compare, of course. And then there are the mad ones. There are a lot of crazy people in this city. I don’t know why, but I am fascinated with mad people. The question of madness as an internal exile is something I would like to develop in a future stopover of the Exile Pavilion.
MM: The “Exile Pavilion” has already made stops at the National Archives in Paris, at the Venice Biennale… What will be the next destination of this traveling project?
mf: The Exile Pavilion is a project of traveling exhibits with artists and curators invited to organize stopovers in different countries. The first stop was at the National Archives Museum in Paris, the second one was in Marseilles. We are currently working on several other stops in Rabat, Algiers, Dakar, Barcelona, Mexico City, Bamako… It’s an endless journey. At the Venice Biennale, it was an invitation from the curator of the Tunisian pavilion, Lina Lazare, to present my “Exile Pavilion” project as a concept within another pavilion. Sometimes I get invited to participate in an exhibit to present only the Exile Pavilion and talk about the project. In those cases, it doesn’t constitute a stopover per se. I’m not always able to impose a stopover with several artists, because that requires a significant budget and a lots of investment. That’s what happened at the Delacroix Gallery of the French Institute in Tangiers.
« Often I was asked this question: how do I see myself as an artist? My answer has always been the same: I consider myself an immigrant worker. My job is to consider what it is to be an artist, when he feels different from in his own cultural context, even in his own role. With this necessity, this permanent need to think of exile, the project of the Exile Pavilion was born as a traveling project, offering a parallel cartography, a free geography of temporary exhibitions, with stops in different countries.
The project raises the question of exile as a new space to be reinvented, to be rethought and finally to be invested. It wants to question both the global and specific links between various forms of displacement, whether the migrant worker’s situation, the expatriate, the refugee or the exile of war, natural disasters, economic problems, and political or racial persecutions. »
mounir fatmi, June 2016
Stella, Berger, De l'exile j'ai fabriqué des lunettes pour voir, Dyptik, n°35, Oct-Nov 2016, page 36-37-38
Encore 7 jours pour découvrir le Pavillon de l’exil de Mounir Fatmi à Tanger, Tanger Experience, August 8th, 2017