Positions and Points of View
Lilia Ben Salah presents Positions and Points of View, the inaugural exhibition of her new gallery centrally located in the Matignon neighborhood of Paris. On view from September 8th-October 8th, 2022 this exhibition defines the gallery's dynamic identity as a venue for representing transnational artists with strong connections to the Middle-East and Africa. Transnational is a way of understanding cultural hybridity and encourages the idea that art, artists and art histories are connected beyond their places of origin.
In the late 20th century there was an urgency in the artworld to put a name to the post-colonial diasporic artist's production by emphasizing authenticity through a definable cultural provenance. This exhibition instead, imagines lines of connectivity and fluidity in the contemporary world defined by belonging to a transpectival "global club" of representation which travels beyond local cultural currency, political fluctuations and ethnocultural backgrounds. The impetus for the show is to celebrate the bold and imaginative multiplicity of voices from cross-cultural cosmopolitan contexts and places.
Positions and Points of View encourages the exchange and flow of art and ideas. Working in a diverse selection of media and practices, but always in relation to painting itself, the seven transnational women artists in this group show demonstrate the potential for line, color and form to address both real-world concerns-political and spiritual truths, women's rights and the environmental crisis -and ontological questions around painting itself. Positions and Points of View is grounded by the work of two pioneering historical modernist women artists, Inji Efflatoun and Baya, from Egypt and Algeria respectively. Both artists' lived experiences and paintings are foundational for the five contemporary emergent artists Lilia Ben Salah has chosen to showcase along with them.
Positions and Points of View includes French Tunisian Amel Bennys' abstractions; Russian born Algerian French Zoulikha Bouabdellah mixed media works; Carthage born Paris based Farah Kehlil's conceptual constructions; New York based Tanzanian American Malaika Temba's textile collages and Paris and Tunis based Camille Pradon's painterly photographs.
Trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and based in New York City, Malaika Temba embodies the nature of this cohort of artists-she grew up in South Africa, Uganda, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, and globality influences her work in profound ways. "I feel an influx of cultural perspectives and use different lenses to go about my day." Indeed this is what Lilia Ben Salah aspires to with her new gallery -to convene and celebrate different positionalities and viewpoints in Paris.
Natasha Boas Ph.D
San Francisco-New York-Paris