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of FATMI Mounir

FRANCE, 1997, 00:02:22

Production : FATMI Mounir
Genre : Video art
Keyword : Allegory, Writing, Computer graphics

Summary :

In the 1970s, Oleg Grabar dealt on the one hand with the various forms of Islamic art in time (from 750 to the present day), in space (in Iran, Syria, Libya, India, China...), in its various manifestations (Shia, Sunni, Sufi, etc) and, on the other hand, the Islamic algebraic culture, with American geometric abstraction, and that practised by Frank Stella in particular (3). By extending such fundamental questions as images, Arabesque (1997) and Survival Signs (1998) come back to the presence of the letter and the number in the ornamental aesthetic peculiar to Islamic visual culture, by making them rhyme, as it were, with the practice of the all-over occupation of the flat space in the west, in particular, needless to add, the work of Jackson Pollock. Historian and artist alike end up with the same phenomenon: the exceptional visual elasticity of the structural features of Islamic art. "To use a biological comparison, the Muslim culture in general, and Islamic art in particular, may be seen as a sequence of grafts on to other living entities and, to some extent, the manner in which the graft took and its success depended on the body to which it was added.(4)" On the basis of these early exercises involving the importation of an architectural, calligraphic and decorative visual culture into an electronic contemporary medium, Mounir Fatmi is forever spreading the spotlights of his critique, where, hitherto, any reuse of a cultural repertory in its dimension as aesthetic programme obviously tended to confirm the speculative source from which this issues (Islam as it happens). Today, like other Arab artists such as WaÎl Noureddine shedding light on the pre-Islamic goddess Hubal hidden in the figure of Allah, it is a question for Mounir Fatmi of linking back up with Arab visual culture prior to Islam, and creating contemporary critical Arab culture. A world opens up to him, and there is nothing surprising about the fact that his next film (in film form this time, rather than video) should belong on the science-fiction shelf.

Nicole Brenez

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Original language : _wordless
Original format : video
Aspect ratio : 4/3
Chroma : Couleur - Noir&Blanc
Available version(s) : Sans paroles

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