In the spring of 2015, Bétonsalon – Center for art and research welcomes artist Maryam Jafri to develop a four-month experimental exhibition and public program in Paris. Titled The Day After, it will be the artist’s first project in France and will activate a broad local and international network of collaborators and participants.
The Day After takes root in Maryam Jafri‘s ongoing project Independence Day 1934–1975 (2009–present), an installation composed of photographs taken on the first independence day in former European colonies across Asia and Africa, between 1934 and 1975. Images are juxtaposed according to a broken grid around categories of events, emphasizing the generic character of the rituals and ceremonies that took place during that 24-hour twilight period when a territory transforms into a nation-state.
The Day After will take this rare « collection of collections » as a starting point to question various artistic, historical and political issues arising from these images and their historical and institutional background. What do we see when we look at the photographic depiction of an event? How are images and their significations affected by their context of circulation? How do visual symmetries and comparisons transform our understanding of the narratives arising from the days of independence and, by extension, the days after? And, backstage, what do conditions of access and preservation reveal about the stakes projected onto these photographs?
Conceived as a space of encounters and debates, the exhibition will serve as a terrain of investigation to map these questions through a constellation of material and immaterial contributions (workshops, seminars and performances) bringing the audience together with Maryam Jafri and a network of researchers, scholars, journalists and artists.
With contributions by Soufiane Ababri, Jean Genet, Kapwani Kiwanga, Dominique Malaquais, Saadat Hasan Manto, Erika Nimis, Franck Ogou, Helihanta Rajaonarison, S.N.S. Sastry, Jürg Schneider, Cédric Vincent, and students and researchers from Paris Diderot University
Maryam Jafri is an artist working in video, performance and photography, with a specific interest in questioning the cultural and visual representation of history, politics and economy. In 2015, she will be part of the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennial, as well as the Göteborg Biennial. She lives and works between New York and Copenhagen.
The Day After is initiated by Bétonsalon – Center for artand research and co-produced with Tabakalera, San Sebastian.
Opening: March 17, 6–9pm
Bétonsalon – Center for art and research
9 Esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Rez-de-Chaussée de la Halle aux Farines