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Who are other people? That seemingly simple question was inspired to the artist by the question the Algerian writer Mohammed Dib asked a few French philosophers, among which Jacques Derrida. For mounir fatmi, the idea is to take this classic philosophical question out of its intellectual context and confront it to the streets. So here it is, hand- ed over to the people in the streets of Paris and Mantes la Jolie, a Parisian suburb. The answers are laconic, evasive, tender, conniving, sometimes philosophical. They are also everything and anything, ap- parently obvious and neverthe- less ambivalent. From “there are no others” to “everyone is another”, what passers-by say reveals the delicate ambiguity of any definition, with the risk of permanently being ignorant of one’s fellow human being, whether it’s because we deny his difference or because we generously perceive him as similar, and underlines the diffi- culty of giving a precise mean- ing to what alterity really is.

This video questions the way each one of us, according to our experiences, our spontane- ity, perceives this double struc- ture of the same and the other, the other than me and at the same time the other me, this “myself that nothing separates me from (…) other than its pure and total freedom”*, and the essential reversibility of this assertion. The Others are the Others engages in a reflec- tion that spans all the artist’s work about the constitution of identity.

mounir fatmi

Born in 1970 in Tangiers, Morocco. He lives and works between Paris, Lille and Tangiers.

mounir fatmi constructs visual spaces and linguistic games. His work deals with the desecration of religious objects, deconstruction and the end of dogmas and ideologies. He is particularly interested in the idea of the role of the artist in a society in crisis. His videos, installations, drawings, paintings and sculptures bring to light our doubts, fears and desires. They directly address the current events of our world, and speak to those whose lives are affected by specific events and reveals its structure. Mounir Fatmi’s work offers a look at the world from a different glance, refusing to be blinded by the conventions.

Courtesy: the artist and Analix Forever, Geneva.

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