Stages of life
Raafat Ballan, Joep van Liefland, Shaza Omran, Kevin Osepa, Sawangwongse Yawnghwe
The chronological frame of the stages of life, a familiar theme in the history of art, intersects in this exhibition with the geographic reality of migration, which has a stronger impact on individuals than ageing. Each artist here represents a specific stage of life. Together they map the consistencies between (forced) migration, violence and suppression.
The lyrical paintings by Shaza Omran are based on the faces and media representations of children and sucklings that have been killed in war, her fellow humans. From the distance she now has to this situation, Omran empathizes with these victims by eternalizing them in art-historically informed, idealized stylizations.
Raafat Ballan’s paintings are essentially transcending tensed domestic situations and political victims under the regime in Syria into stilled compositions with isolated figures. The exhibition also features a set of linocuts, a prelude to Ballan’s comprehensive narrative project entitled Society of Horror.
In Exterminate all the Brutes, Sawangwongse Yawnghwe again addresses the long and cynical history of war, atrocities and destruction in Burma/Myanmar in the age of modernity and technological progress. Part of that complex is the genocide on Rohingya under the current leadership.
The monumental collages of Joep Van Liefland allude to the will, and various strategies of humankind, to overcome Death. The works present a fractured cosmological realm infused with fantasies about transcendence and redemption by technology, through a profane range of haul videos, corporate design, and discount advertising.
In his video film ‘Con los Santos no se Juega’ (You don’t play with the Saints) Kevin Osepa revisits childhood memories of seeming inscrutable spiritual rituals for cleansing and protection in Curacao. In his video he interprets and performs the brua in various ways, with a prominent role for bluing powder.
Stages of Life is conceived by Moving Matters Cultural Platform. This platform initiates projects and exhibitions on the cutting edge of visual art and migration. movingmattersplatform.nl
Stages of Life is curated by Jelle Bouwhuis.