Tate Modern, Level 2
Friday 11 February – Sunday 17 April 2011

Tate Modern’s Level 2 Gallery presents Out of Place, an exhibition that has arisen from a collaboration between Tate Modern and Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan. The exhibition features four artists from different backgrounds whose diverse political and social circumstances have prompted them to consider their environment. The artists in Out of Place each explore the relationship between dominant political forces and personal and collective histories by looking at urban space, architectural structures and the condition of displacement.

Hrair Sarkissian’s In Between 2007 is a series of large-scale photographs of austere Soviet-style buildings left abandoned in the dramatic hills and valleys of rural Armenia. They register the paradox experienced by this Syrian artist of Armenian origin of ‘returning’ to a land which he had only known from family stories, as the reality of the region replaced the country he had imagined. Taken in the village where she grew up, Ahlam Shibli’s The Valley 2007-8 documents the lives of Palestinians facing restrictions when trying to build their houses. Goter 2002-3, her series on the Bedouin people of the Negev region who have settled in townships or temporary shanty towns also shows the impact of restrictions at the level of daily life.

In the 1970s, Ion Grigorescu began recording everyday scenes in his home city of Bucharest with an 8mm camera. In his films and photographs he focuses on the unregimented activities taking place amid the rapidly changing urban landscape. His images of children playing, as well as of haphazardly discarded objects, contrast with the uniformity of the surrounding architecture from Romania’s Communist past. Cevdet Erek’s Shading Monument for the Artist 2009 reflects more generally on the possibilities of political art. The shadow-sculpture casts text on the gallery wall with varying intensity throughout the day; the words have been taken from memorials to those who fought in the Spanish Civil War. Appropriating these words for his artist’s monument, Erek blurs the status of political activism and artistic action.

Out of Place is curated by Kasia Redzisz and Ala’ Younis.

The Level 2 Gallery programme has been made possible with the generous support of Catherine Petitgas. It is conceived and led by Tate Modern’s Assistant Curators, in dialogue with Tanya Barson, Curator.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman and Tate Modern, London initiated by Suha Shoman (Founder, Darat al Funun) and Sheena Wagstaff (Chief Curator, Tate Modern).

Presented at both venues, this exhibition is supported by the World Collections Programme with additional support from the Romanian Cultural Institute at Tate.

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