carlier | gebauer is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Germany of the Swedish-Palestinian artist Tarik Kiswanson. Currently based between Paris and New York, Kiswanson’s practice is shaped by a sculptural vocabulary inscribed with the hybridization of Middle Eastern cultural heritage and Western modernism, of art and the artisanal. From an intense process of interbreeding enigmatic works emerge, inciting ceaseless tension between their two poles. In light of this, its final signification remains in constant suspense.
Contact Sheet’s genesis lies in photographs dating from the 1970s documenting the family life of the artist. The embroidery of traditional costumes present in the photographs becomes the central subject of the work. Playing with a shift of scale, from the microscopic to the monumental, Tarik Kiswanson discharges the motifs from their folkloric references. Removed of all original contexts, the raw essence of his imagery opens up a multitude of interpretations. Quasi-abstract from this point on, the magnified details of the embroideries illustrate the circulation of certain primary forms across different époques and geographical regions, thus providing an unspoken progression from the subjective and personal to the objective.
Constituted of large sheets of metal, cut polished to a mirror finish, the works retain imprints of the process of their fabrication: like large-scale weaving, the sheets are superimposed and intermingled. Infra-thin, sharp-edged, and rigid, these hollowed reliefs constitute ghostly memories of the artist’s entire cultural heritage: they are a contact sheet. Evoking kinetic art, the sculptures vibrate at the faintest breeze or touch. Their oxidized surfaces are the result of welding, but are also accented by contact with the body, thus inscribing the sculptures within a temporality: always in movement, never rigid, and potentially perishable.
Tarik Kiswanson (b. 1986) lives and works in Paris. He studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris where he graduated in 2014 with jury honours. He will have forthcoming exhibitions at the Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain de Sérignan, at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris, at Beffroi de Montrouge, and at the Fondation Albert Gleizes in Sablon. He is also currently exhibiting his work at the Contemporary Art Centre of Clichy, Pavillon Vendôme in Paris. Notable previous exhibitions include: The Housebreaker, curated by Gaël Charbeau at Riga Art Space, Riga, Lettonie, COMPOSITIONS at Metropolitan Art Society in Beirut, curated by Daniele Balice, Les Mains Libres, curated by Laurent Jacob, Espace 251 Nord Liège, Belgium, and Les voyageurs, curated by Hou Hanru, at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France. Tarik Kiswanson is currently in residence at Sèvres, Cité de la Céramique in Paris and at ISCP - International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, New York.