Four Syrian artists are showing their very diverse works at downtown Skol Gallery in the Belgo building. For Alham Dib, Muzaffar Salman, Randa Maddah and Monif Ajaj, the only theme is a personal reflection on being scarred by war.
Its curator, Delphine Leccas, chose works that stayed away from "violence and the obscenity of garish media imagery", opting for a great economy of means, and thus releasing a more powerful voice.
Randa Maddah video, Light Horizon, 2012 is a quiet, poignant moving painting, the camera looking through a bombed-out window while a woman tries to go about her business, or just sits staring at the ruined landscape, a white curtain billowing in the warm wind.
Only ambient sound, almost lack of it, accompanies her quiet goings-on. Maddah was born in in Majdal Shams (Golan Heights), 1983, where she still lives.
Syrian Artists: Alham Dib, Muzaffar Salman, Randa Maddah, Monif Ajaj
Centre des arts actuels Skol
327 Ste-Catherine St W, Suite 314
January 12 - February 25, 2017
Muzaffar Salman was born in Homs, the first city to be razed to the ground when the war began. His 99 names of Aleppo is a dark, black-and-white collage of images of war, of people trapped by it, of people hiding from it, or those in the throes of it. The photographs fade in and out of each other, they appear out of the darkness as if someone shone a flashlight for a brief moment.
Alham Dib, born in Damascus in 1974 and still living there, has been showing his photographic works in Syria, Armenia, France and Denmark. He is showcasing a wall of small photographs that create not only a visual composition but are a kind of a storyboard to be read and not just seen.
As for Monif Ajaj, his work resembles children's drawings at first sight, but the message they carry is anything but infantile. His is a critical commentary on society and on the many players that have destroyed his country, Bashar al-Assad among them.