Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne
Since 2011, Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne have been exploring the image of revolution in the wake of the Arab Spring. The latest iteration of this ongoing collaboration is Atlas Unlimited. Taking place across a number of international venues, Atlas Unlimited changes and adapts to its specific context, as a succession of “acts” at each location.
The first three acts take place in Netwerk Aalst, and introduce a backdrop painting, sculptural fragments and artefacts that depict and re-enact squares, monuments and mise-en-scènes from Caïro, Palmyra, Ouarzazate, Marrakech and Aalst, including the atelier of the Syrian sculptor Zakaria Almoutlak.
These fragmented and unfinished objects and depictions seem caught in a constant state of flux as a cast of builders – including sculptors, painters, performers and a carnival crew – inhabit, erect, maintain and dismantle them in the exhibition space. While at work, these builders also turn to visitors to share stories of displacement, settlement and reconstruction, interweaving personal testimonies with fictionalised accounts.
Atlas Unlimited enacts the instability and itinerant realities of migration – of movement of people, places and objects. By giving agency to builders to both produce and narrate unfinished and temporary sets and sculptures, in dialogue with visitors and local organizations, Pandian and Zins-Browne test out the positive potential of unstable representations of identity and locality, in an attempt to overcome both the paralyzing effect of the truth/fiction collide and the powerlessness of the represented.
Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne: Atlas Unlimited (Acts I-III), Netwerk Aalst, 29 September – 16 December 2018
Builders, in order of appearance:
Zakaria Almoutlak is a sculptor from Syria living in Brussels
Gaia Carabillo is an artworker from the south
Nada Ghosn is an English-French-Arabic translator based in Paris
Maren Greinke is Professor of Set Design at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden. Her students are Erik Hamann, Jule Mainka, Katharina Kriseleit, Niklas Müller & Valentin Hammermeister
De Looizemaanen is a carnival crew from Aalst
Ilyas Odman is a choreographer living in Istanbul
Nerses Vardanyan is a visual artist from Armenian descent who lives and works in Aalst
El Dakhlaweyya are a band of Shaabi musicians from Alexandria, Egypt
Maika Garnica is an artist based in Antwerp
Makhlouf is a cartoonist working in Cairo
Production: Sien Van Dycke (Brussel), Katie Soule (Cambridge), Menna Khalil (Cairo) & Netwerk Aalst, thanks to the Aalst-based carnival groups Steirk and Zwisjelmoizen
Atlas Unlimited (Acts I-VI): Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne is co-commissioned by Netwerk Aalst and Logan Center Exhibitions, and co-produced by Precarious Pavilions Antwerp and The Great Indoors. It is made possible with the support from The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.