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Exhibition “Times of Joy - Times of Distress”

The exhibit, which can be seen in Madrid until May 28, combines the work by several European artists produced during the Arab Spring and five years thereafter.

February 22, 2017
In 2012, a group of ten European artists organized an exhibition named “Times of Joy,” with the goal of expressing the (social and personal) joy felt within the context of the events happening during the Arab Spring. Now, five years later, those artists and other new artists have come together once again to continue the project.

The result is an exhibition that can be seen at Centro Centro (fourth floor) until May 28 (Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; closed on Mondays and May 1), with the cooperation of the Austria-Madrid Cultural Forum.

There was so much hope placed in the Arab Spring, and then all of the conflicts began to take place. The images shifted and instead of seeing joy in the city squares, we saw long lines of displaced people on their way to Europe, children and their families crossing deserts, seas and rivers, dying on the beaches of Greece and Turkey, barriers and fences blocking their path in one place after the other.

The union of both exhibitions makes it possible to take a journey through the events that have taken place in recent years, from the initial feeling of excitement and hope to the dire situation today. The exhibition attempts to answer many questions: Where have the people’s joy and hope gone? What is left of the Arab Spring? How can those feelings and thoughts of confusion, hope and fear be expressed in images? However, it is not an attempt to repeat the tragic news broadcast by the media. Instead, it seeks viewpoints which uphold the humanity of these people living through dramatic circumstances.

The artists with a presence in the exhibition are as follows: Claire Angelini (France), Monika Anselment (Germany), Antonia Bisig (Germany), Dragana Brancović (Serbia), Christine Bruckbauer (Austria) and Patricia K. Triki (Tunisia), Hommarus W. Brusche (Holland), Wojciech Cieśniewski (Poland), Carlos Correia (Portugal), Selim Gribaa (Tunisia), Federico Guzmán (Seville), Peter Hauenschild (Austria), Alfredo Igualador (Madrid), Sofía Jack (Madrid), Annie Kurkdjian (Lebanon), Hela Lamine (Tunisia), Yasemir Nur (Turkey), Gisele Ribeiro (Brazil), Simeón Saiz Ruiz (Madrid), Belén Sánchez Albarrán (Madrid), Rafael Sánchez-Mateos Paniagua (Madrid), Marek Szymański (Poland) and Wolfgang Wirth (Austria).

The exhibition curators are also artists and participants in the display: Simeón Saiz Ruiz, Monika Anselment and Wolfgang Wirth.
  • Exhibition “Times of Joy - Times of Distress”
    Annie Kurkdjian. Saving the orphans. 2015
  • Exhibition “Times of Joy - Times of Distress”
    Rafael Sánchez Saus Aquí se cumple la voluntad de la tierra que da cobijo para todos, (Here the will of the earth which provides shelter to all is fulfilled, 2015-2016)
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