Almine Rech presents Tarik Kiswanson’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
“For several years now vision, birth, coming of age, rootlessness and renewal have been central themes in my work. I have explored them through sculpture, performance, video and writing. Recently, I have begun to surround myself with images from the natural world; seeds, birds, moths and chrysalises; all symbols of migration and transformation, which have become central motifs in my newest works.
Oscillating between enigmatic forms, reminiscent of the natural world, and adopting more realistic and recognizable shapes—the drawings are a constellation of images moving between abstraction and figuration. They are part of my ongoing inquiry into the body and its place in the world: its transformation, its dissolution, its absence, its renewal.
As if emerging from opacity into light, the drawings are made by the accumulation of layers of charcoal powder. They are labor intensive: each thin layer of charcoal is applied and rubbed into the paper with brushes intending to slowly create multiple densities of light and dark. Some of them depict children lingering at the threshold of visibility, while others appear as blurred, powdery outlines of ovoid spheres or oblong tubes. These organism-worlds and vessel-bodies elude the habitual coordinates of representation. They show themselves yet appear ungraspable.”
Tarik Kiswanson’s work encompasses sculpture, writing, performance, drawing, sound and video works. Born in Halmstad, Sweden in 1986 where his family exiled from Palestine, his artistic practice evinces an engagement with the poetics of métissage: a means of writing and surviving between multiple conditions and contexts. His various bodies of work can be understood as a cosmology of related conceptual families, each exploring variations on themes like refraction, multiplication, disintegration, levitation, hybridity, and polyphony through their own distinct language.
Tarik Kiswanson received his MFA from École National Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (2014) and BFA from Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London (2010). Recent presentations include Centre Pompidou (2019), Ural Biennial (2019), Performa Biennial (2019) Lafayette Anticipations (2018), Fondation Ricard (2018) and the Gwangju Biennial (2018). His retrospective exhibition Mirrorbody is currently on view at Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain accompanied by a monograph published by Distanz. His upcoming solo exhibitions include M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; Hallands Konstmuseum, Halmstad; and MMAG Foundation; Amman.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)