Saturday, my language partner and her mother invited me to a convemporary art exhibit. It was so cool! The bulding is a renovated cigarette factory, so it has a very open, industrial feel. The exhibit is part of Marseille 2013, a series of cultural events happening in and around the city. The exhibit, Ici, Ailleurs, (meaning Here, Elsewhere) showcased the works of many artists— most of whom were born in the Mediterranean region— examining themes such as journey, displacement, exhile, immigration, citizenship, identity, and gender. Some of my favorite pieces were:
A series of large inkjet photographs playing with light and dark that depicted the lonliness and otherness felt by many Algerian immigrants, haunted by their country’s history with France.
A gigantic (easily 8 ft tall) bronze and leather chastity belt protesting the situation of women in Egypt.
Furniture from a courtroom that was cut diagonally and spread in a line. The artist wanted to portray how law can divide us and question whether we are truly equal under the law.
Home-like videos from a wedding in Algeria(?), focusing on the greeting line, and slowed way down to create a very solemn atmosphere.
A life-size figure of the pregnant Virgin Mary, draped in a cloak of dried pig intestines. The artist wanted to create a more raw and haunting representation of the mother of Jesus, completely distorting the typical images of beauty and sweetness associated with her.
A video project where a woman put children in different environments without scripts and documented how that affected their behavoir and speech.
A very moving silent film depicting the complexities of desire between homosexual men.
Here is a link to photos of the exhibit on Flickr