FRAC Corse - Collective de Corse , Corte, France 07 May 2021 - 30 Jun 2021
Najah Zarbout, La houle (détail), découpage, 160×100, 2019. Courtesy the artist.
The Thanaya: Between Folds and Paths exhibition by Najah Zarbout offers a committed look at human existence. The word “thanaya” in Arabic means both folds and paths and sets us on the trail of an adventure into the depths of the surface. Through drawing, installation and video, the artist questions the concept of otherness, the theme of the island and ecological concerns which are strongly conditioned by geopolitics, economics and nature. In addition to being expressed in the artist’s work, all of these reflections feed into the narrative of the exhibition.
Najah Zarbout is originally from the Kerkennah archipelago which is located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tunisia. This trip from Kerkennah to Corsica is itself a particular path to highlight. The two territories share common points, namely, the insularity and the Mediterranean in particular. By studying her island heritage and all the often oral stories associated with it, the artist invites the viewer on an imaginary journey into memory.
By exploring cutting with a scalpel, embossing, folding and laceration, Najah Zarbout meditates his creations by composing with matter, light, fullness, void and chance thus tracing multiple paths. Time is his only ally in the development of his artistic approach which requires finesse, thoroughness and attention.
Thanaya: Between Folds and Paths tells stories in porosity with the emergencies that our societies have to face. It is an invitation to question the status quo, but above all, an invitation to dream.