Artist: Karíma Al-Mukhtarová
Exhibition title: The Rooms
Curated by: Michal Novotný
Venue: Futura, Prague, The Czech Republic
Date: December 5, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Futura
1. So, this is the first manipulation. As a child they take your photo at the nursery, they prepare this arranged still life and you have to be unified and smile. And that’s what I already didn’t like at that time, I did not understand, why do I have to pass that. And they said: for your parents. So I should smile, and the more they told me, that I should smile, the more I cried. I have this photo of mine, eyes swollen from crying. It is the first time, that the society push you to be in a certain way, to look like in a certain way, but you are still a child. That’s why I let her the face, because I think, that as a child you still have a face. As the time goes, you loose it more and more, just to be able to function, at your work, at school, or just because of “some reason”. That is also why I skipped faces and other necessary parts in the other works. It seems to me, that people anyway don’t need them, because their faces can be changing every second.
2. It is possible to buy that, this clock. It is in a certain way a readymade. For example now, it is quite easy to see, the time it shows, but still it confuses you, because you have to think, what time it really is now. So somehow it also stops your time.
3. She has this funfair flower, that she got from the shooting range. And lost her head meanwhile. It is emotional. I made it in January 2017, that’s maybe also important, in here they already broadcasted the war in Iraq is over and that ISIS is moving backwards. But it actually were the harshest times, and my father is from Rawa. That is close to the Syrian border and mainly by the water, and in those countries, who has water, has it all.
4. This the cleaning. Bad soap. When you want to start again, it hurts. And as you pass through it, you lose some of the parts, that you didn’t want to lose. So you try to glue them back, but it is never really fitting anymore. When you start, you have the energy, you want it all, but you stop to see yourself, because you lack distance, and so, you’re back, down. She has the possibility to be strong, but she has to stand up. Often you have it all around you, but you don’t see it. For example because you are looking at the floor. I think, that this is typical for example for me. I have this super quality, that if I fail in something, it is suddenly all dark around me, and I don’t see anything anymore, everything switches off and I can’t continue. But in the same, as you see, it is also supporting her, that what’s makes the paradox.
5. Bad influence. The silhouettes behind you. Like people say something to you, and you always change, and this goes up to the point you lose your head, you don’t need it anymore.
6. And this is for example also this picture. I did it when I was 19, at the school in Ústí. I was taking photos at that time, but simply they told me at the school, that it is bad. Everybody said, it is bad, so I erased it all, and stopped photographing. Which I wouldn’t do now. It wasn’t conceptual enough. I started at new media and was interested more in the aesthetics, not in concepts. Never understood, what the other students are saying, how they speak three hours and then have one paper on the wall. After I tried to fit myself in, but it simply didn’t work. Because I don’t want it, there doesn’t have to be this thing, that you refer to those other artists. When I was in Berlin, there is loads of artists. Too many. Typically everyone says he is an artist. And maybe it doesn’t matter finally, what works they do, but that they are happy to do it, they really enjoy doing it. And I think in here, people don’t have this joy.
7. This is kitsch. The pink one is exactly the Mattel one. Those fucking expensive barbies. And that’s also the selling of one’s own, either you sell yourself, and that is also to bury yourself a bit, right? But to also to somehow exhibit yourself. You have to exhibit yourself, to completely change your visual.
8. This was originally hanging in the german offices. As I had this studio in Berlin, it was in an empty abandoned job center. And the bureaucrats there, they had those things as decorations for their offices. And it’s all fake. This is some cheap wallpaper, this is chipboard. And the embroidery I found in trash. And if you look from the back, you see it’s hand made. I liked the contrast. Something coming from really a lot of work and here, this complete fake, that pretends to be the high art.
9. And the horse, the highlight of the show. It’s a man. The relationships. It tumbles down in your life and destroys everything, like the horse when we pluck it here through the gallery doors. And then after in the relation you swing up and down. It’s not like you would ever stop, and the one who stays up, wins. (assembled by Michal Novotný)