Sumac Space

Dialogues Exhibitions About Artists' rooms

A Whole Population of Poets

27.06.2021 - 31.08.2021

Curated by

Davood Madadpoor

A Whole Population of Poets grew out of my own hazy days after The Green Wave of Iran in 2009. I have always carried with me a duality of optimism and anxiety about the future: a future that I will never be able to articulate as a time-based event. Rather, I would like to see my future as scrolling through a timeline on a post-production application, one that I can navigate freely without an obligation to “snap” to a certain date.

I am experimenting with a few methods to transform this anxiety. One of the most powerful tools is one’s imagination and the landscapes one draws while dreaming. To me, this dreamland serves as a form of resistance to the world as I experience or perceive it. I am aware that this is not a promise for another universe or an offer to withdraw from this one, but it does assist me in creating conditions for a different mode of being within the already existing one.

I construct another self with whom to converse. There is a need for “another” me. This alienated other is a necessity in order to develop a conversation, to share a feeling of displacement in time and space. 

From time to time, I project these conversations. I tend to narrate events that are no longer mine, for the sake of obscuring the line between real and unreal, in order to build this fictional territory in which I would like to live and continue to be myself.

The Middle East’s past unfolds in a series of interconnected forms. It includes shifts in people’s lives as well as the lives of groups, cultures, and countries over time. It encompasses the narratives that people share of themselves and others in relation to these transitions, the myths that help them make sense of their experiences and attempt to illuminate the way into the future, as well as a tool to create a new landscape as an offer to escape from preexisting structures.

In A Whole Population of Poets, which borrows the title from one of the artworks, the artists invite us into their personal odyssey. They interpret the stories that people tell about themselves and about others in relation to their daily lives, which will continue to brighten the path in the future. They reshape these memories and stories, manipulating material in order to build a new stage that allows us to step into another dimension. They challenge you to understand the other’s perspective and share their emotions and interiority. By creating new characters, mechanisms, and fictionalized beings, they facilitate these narrations and make you walk on an absent line between real and unreal.

_ Davood Madadpoor

Participant artists: Mohamed Abdelkarim, b. 1983, El Minya, Egypt. Ibrahim Ahmed, b. 1984, Kuwait. Lives and works in Ard El Lewa, Egypt. Esraa Elfeky, b. 1989, Cairo, Egypt. Tareque Elsharquawy, b. 1990, Alexandria, Egypt. Ezz Monem, b. 1985, Cairo, Egypt. Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Sara Sallam, b. 1991, Giza, Egypt. Lives and works in Delft, Netherlands. Islam Shabana, b. 1988, Cairo, Egypt.

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