PARIS.- The Danysz Gallery
presents Hard Core, Abdul Rahman Katanani's first monographic exhibition in France. Katanani is a protean artist whose work reflects a strong social and civic commitment. Using art as a mean of resistance, he lays a sensitive eye on the problems of the world. Katanani does a work of memory, with the intimate conviction comes a form of tolerance and acceptance of the other. Katanani gives as much space to the substance as to the form in the aesthetics of his works. Skillfully, the artist tames all kinds of materials accumulated over time: barbed wire, corrugated iron sheets, tires, fabrics or gas cans. Paradoxically, these materials that are part of his daily life are cold. Even if these come in their raw state, very rarely painted, Katanani manages to highlight emotions with a subtle play of shadow and light. From his special creative process emerges a duality between the reality of the reworked chaotic elements and the beauty of the final composition. He shares that barbed wire is omnipresent in his work (forming the branches of his famous olive trees): "It hurts me when I work with this, but the work gives me the greatest pleasure."
For the current exhibition, on the ground floor of the gallery, the central installation of the exhibition is a scale 1 refugee camp street. The interactive piece is entirely made with recycled material. The viewer can enter inside and wander. He is then reflected dozens of times by the mirrors lining the passage, giving the impression of being multiplied and cramped in the structure. A surveillance video of the film is projected in the basement of the gallery, in black and white and in slow motion, a "co-wandering" in the work. In black and white: there are no colors in the camp. In slow motion: the image, ghostly and stretched, evolves to be lost in a forest somewhere in the depths of space. Following this journey, it is at the upper level of the gallery that the visitor can find the poetic works made of barbed wire of the artist.
Abdul Rahman Katanani, a teenager, has developed his artistic sense through caricature, criticism and commitment, which continues to influence his work, as he says "the best border is no border". His inspiration also comes from such as Vermeer, in the very same desire to freeze everyday scenes ; Yves Klein, whose iconic blue color, is recognizable and decomposed as the barbed wire in Katanani?s work ; Robert Rauschenberg, with the cumulative and historical forms in his collages and paintings. These days, Katanani focuses on the desire for emancipation and the search for freedom that he advocates through education, culture and art. There are ways of resistance and resilience. "The concept of freedom is about me living in motion." The movement found in his works is constant with the circles, the whirlwinds and the waves. He continues to reinterpret, with his narrative force, the world as he perceives it to extract universal questions: origins, inequalities, constraints, freedom or confinement.
The Danysz Gallery organizes for the first time in France an exhibition of the artist composed of unveiled pieces. Katanani discovered Paris during a visit to the Cité Internationale des Arts in 2014. Hard core is made in collaboration with the gallery Analix Forever in Geneva and with the support of the Vent des Forêts art center.