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Winkel

Intervention / installation in public space (2016)
Into The Great Wide Open festival 2016, Vlieland


Wood, panels, shelves, roller shutter, neon and light bulbs, a huge variation of Arabian groceries, cassette player, tea and cups, 300 x 350 x 250 cm but size may vary


Curated by Nienke Korthof, Maire Haverkort, Peter van Hoof

Assisted by Reem Saouma, Amer Assaf, Muhammad Soubhi Tabakh


‘Winkel’ is an installation based on interiors of a few shops
that I photographed in Syria in 2006 and 2008-2009.
The installation was managed by two Syrian men who fled
from Aleppo in 2015. Nothing was for sale in the shop which
resulted in many conversations between the Syrians and the
festival audience. They spoke about the installation, their escape from Syria, their future. Within the context of Vlieland the installation was a surreal work.

Into The Great Wide Open invited me to realize a new work and I have gone to the 2015 edition to do my research. The news at the time was dominated by the influx of boat refugees from the Mediterranean Sea. When arriving at our tent at the relatively white festival on the (rainy) island Vlieland, with our daughter
of two years old, after a long trip by foot, train, boat… the similarities and contrasts could not be bigger! For me there
was no escape to engage with the current events.


When the two Syrian assistants arrived at the installation of
2x3 meters that I had been building up with my Lebanese assistant, one of the two told me: "It's like real". Because after a bombardment people build up new, small shops. To quote
film maker Heddy Honigmann: “Life starts always were it has been destroyed: on a small table in what has been a street, a man starts again to sell: some candy, more candy and a few biscuits (…)”.


‘Winkel’ has been supported by VSBfonds.


Press: VPRO’s Vrije Geluiden
Video documentation by ITGWO

Two years after Into The Great Wide Open the installation Winkel was on show again during the group show 'Works of Mercy' in CBK Zuidoost in Amsterdam. Opening Thursday April 12 from 5 till 7 PM. The sho lasted until Saturday June 30, 2018. During the finissage that day, from 2 till 4 PM, the Syrian shopkeepers sell products from the work

In Dutch:
‘Winkel’ is een ruimtelijke installatie van 2x3 meter, gebaseerd op interieurs van winkels die ik tijdens mijn residence in
Amman
had gefotografeerd in de souk van Damascus in 2008. ‘Winkel’ werd beheerd door twee Syriërs, die in juli 2015 uit Aleppo gevlucht waren. “Je winkel is nèt echt”, zeiden ze
tot mijn genoegen. Om filmmaker Heddy Honigmann te citeren: “Life starts always were it has been destroyed: on a small table in what has been a street, a man starts again to sell: some candy, more candy and a few biscuits (…)”
In ‘Winkel’ was niets te koop; het was een uitstalling zoals we die kennen uit een etnografisch museum. Omdat het contact tussen de Aleppijnen en het festivalbezoek zo niet beperkt
bleef tot een economische transactie, werkte ‘Winkel’ als een katalysator voor vele gesprekken: over de installatie zelf en mijn werk in het algemeen, hun vlucht, hun families in resp. Griekenland en Syrië, hun toekomst in Nederland.
Het werk kwam op Vlieland – naast de campingwinkel van
Sytse en Anneke – surreëel over, en was binnen het kunstprogramma van het festival een vreemde urbane eend
in de bijt, hetgeen ook mijn bedoeling was.

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