'An attempt to explore cross-cultural themes that are shared between Morocco and Iran, Memorandum of the Unknown Path will include various artworks, including Banners of the Unbanished, a series of textiles that combine traditional materials, such as Touareg raw camel wool, with "post-tribal symbols". The piece is meant to transform "tent elements" into a work of art, while conveying a message of urgent and universal unity.'
Rima Alsammarae, AD Magazine
Exhibition produced by We R The Nomads Agency with support of the Magic of Persia Foundation and Flora Family Foundation.
Heartfelt Thanks on the Path go to Amir FarmanFarma, Max & Jan Marrakech, Sophie Abou Chahine, Daniela Spoknik & Red City PR, Ladan Mina, Touria El Glaoui,Tino, Hicham, Daniel Jameson, Mohamed Lamdaoui Family in Agdz & Rana Rezapour for the 'Oracle' Opening Performance and her unfailing presence.
« A man is a small cosmos and the cosmos is like a great man »
Sufi adage, unknown author.
Memorandum of the unknown path
Poetry by Sophie Abou Chahine
Here, slowly the steps of the visitor have led him towards the end of the path.
Stripped of the racket and the shrieking flashing lights of our voiceless Babels,
filled with still electric humility,
He passes , unaware, the door that leads to himself.
He surrenders his useless weapons , abdicating on the threshold of his own contemplation.
He will join the wizened and pacified ranks of Truth.
Wanderer, leave your coat as here starts and ends each and every thing.
There is no such thing as past anymore, no time, soon no moment, even.
You belong in this place, this vault your shelter.
It embraces you as the universe the huddled child to the bark.
The wind silently sings, the dust with its glowing finger draws
the outline of your face, blurring the edges of your human form.
The walls turn to skin, the suspended light into breath.
Everything stretches and spreads.
There is nothing left of you, you become all.
Yet, still the thump of his steps remind the man
that he is the one who is walking:
Walking without falling.
Walking towards the circle.
On the edge of truth.
Beneath the shade of new Standards.
In the white noise along the radiant radius,
he is himself. And everyone.
The banneret grows into a banner,
Silent Conqueror of his own light.
Simmering emblems silently chant,
absolute arms, magnificent names
of forgotten tribes, of rising nations.
Forged, kneaded, woven in the desert,
Standing over the horizon shadows precede the horsemen
that step forward, with the debonair rock of kings returning to their lands
This body of work stems from an urge to create a Wagnerian ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, a total work of art. Knotting tribal cultures in a sufi circling structure upon which woven sacred fabrics and millenary symbols hang tall. Sourced and produced in the Moroccan Draa Valley and the Sahara, the work calls for the use of air and space, shadow and light, envisioned as an ensemble of imaginary banners mirroring nomadic cosmogonies. Held together by Touareg raw camel wool, tent elements are here turned into work of art. A circle of contemplation and meditation, a haven where different cultures can meet and reflect.
As in recent explorations into post-tribalism such as in Poetry of the Tribe ( Salomon Arts & Leonard Tourné Gallery - Tribeca, NYC / Oct-Nov 2018 ) and into the idea of Trace with Permanence of Trace ( We R the Nomads Agency & Space 50 - Mayfair, London / March - May 2019 ) , I here intend to build on a universal nomadic quality. Not unlike works of Corean artist Kimsooja or Colombian artist Oscar Murillo it attends to cross cultural thematics such as identity, memory and exile. The exhibition presents itself as a synthesis with a look set upon the uncertain path forward. The balance between archaic spirit and tech-age philosophies. The juncture of cultures crossing and creating new tribes. The unicity of our planet. Contemporary revolutions.
The work intends to trigger the necessary question of a return to the source : if ecology of the planet is the restoration of a natural world order, then ecology of the spirit is a restoration of a of a natural world order, then ecology of the spirit is a restoration of a link to our millenary archaic selves.