End presentation of Mo Sirra

Our current resident, Mo Sirra, is hosting his end-of-residency exhibition entitled "No one is more popular than Mohamed: Performing illegally in the state of Art" at puntWG, our residency space's neighbouring gallery space. 

You can visit the exhibition from 7-15 September 2019, on weekends, from 14:00 to 18:00.

The opening is on Saturday 7 September 2019, 17:00-19:00. Please keep an eye on the puntWG and airWG Facebook pages for updates...

This exhibition is curated by Lora Sariaslan, in partnership with the Mondriaan Tijdelijke Binnenlandateliers programme.

Art historian and curator Lora Sariaslan on Mo Sirra:

"Mo Sirra examines and theorizes the essence of creation. How can one mediate art? How can one create? And more importantly, how can one create freely? This examination has deeply influenced his approach to cultural practice and is reminiscent of the (memory of the) sites or lieu de mémoire (site of memory) of the French historian Pierre Nora. As Mo Sirra approaches art practice as an act of urgency, he focuses on the impermanent and spatially complex nature of art practice through his diverse and fluid work encompassing drawing, installation, photography, and sculpture. The politicization of life and hence art is one of his driving forces, informed and enriched by personal experiences leading to (hi)stories that entangle the first person with(in) the third--blurring the edges of a self-portrait." 

Artist Statement

The artist in question argues that art is an act of urgency requires practitioner and institution at state of emergency. Despite this prescheduled presentation; please be advised that the artist, the content of the presentation, the opening hours, the location are subject to change.

What if the human being inherited a contaminated knowledge?
What if ‘art’ is advertisement instrument for Capitalism, propaganda for other Ideology?
What if ‘freedom of expression’ is daily exercise, rather than an article in Human Rights Act?
What if ‘independence’ is a continuous struggle against suppression rather an inactive clause in a constitution?
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty

Advertisement VS Propaganda

This is what the ‘artist’ in residence has been performing since age of nine, when he refused to fill-in the affiliation form of the ruling Baath party. As he resists to offer his skin as a banner for totalitarian regime’s propaganda as he resists to stretch his forehead for Capitalism’s advertisement to light on 

No room even in Rome

This is a performance of a boy, who had drawn an upside-down tree at age of 3, but years later he was confronted with the reality; the world is not willing to accommodate an imagination of 3 years old boy. Thus, he jumped in the river and walks in wrong side through which he creates temporary virtual room for his soul to perform… 

How actual is this today? 

“In the Western art from ancient times well into the nineteenth century even the most innovative artists depended upon patrons and public that measured quality in relation to well-known standards of subject matter, technique, and style.” Jonathan Fineberg, Art since 1940

The aesthetic of resistance

It is about 4890 km south, where he had to construct a tiny room out of metal lockers at the rare of the sculpture studio in the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in order to pursue developing his research. he refused to attend the students military training camp during the 4-months summer break, therefore he was dismissed from resuming his study, furthermore he was tortured, sentenced and compelled to do one-year military service at the war front. Instead he had to escape the military training camp to the academy pursuing the course although he was dismissed. Despite performing under pain of death, he has created more than 40 sculptures at the end of that year. Art is an act of urgency that requires a practitioner and institution in state of emergency

The Tyranny of Popular

I have to confirm, that he survived all. However, by reaching out the ‘Democratic’ society he was confronted with the impossibility to have any room except the margin, instead he was forced to lay out a virtual room to resume his performance. Whenever the virtual room gets eliminated by water cannons or contaminated by tear gas and sound bombs, he layout a new. You are either to serve the mainstream or to be a prospective extremist

Is there an urge to begin calling into questioning and challenging the legitimacy of the commonly accepted cultural, social, and religious norms, revealing their hypocritical and repressive nature?

Footnote: he was probably born on the banks of the river Tigris – in a hot summer day in May, around siesta time…and he was born standing. The midwife said that this brought a lot of luck, and he can’t complain, really. It is thought that he may have studied art and design in the Netherlands, England, Spain, Norway, and he probably travelled to Italy, Turkey, Senegal, Canada, Egypt and other countries; however, he continuous performing illegally in the State of Art

By this preface, I assume that many of you especially who reviewed his submitted portfolio is confused whether am I speaking in the first or the third person? It could be both   

This is the most beautiful thing you said in years
– This is the only thing I have said in years

test...test
I see the mirror
I get up
One more time
I see the mirror
I get up

he is absent,
I’m performing

I am he, who I was or
will be

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