Two artists complete an artist-in-residency program at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba
The artists in question are the Libyan women Laila Sharif and Takwa Abo
Barnosa, who are currently preparing the exhibition that will be on
display at the institution’s Andalusian headquarters as of October 23.
September 01, 2019
During this time, the two have each worked on their own art projects, which will in the end be included in the group exhibition of Libyan artists titled ”Tracking a Vanishing Landscape: Contemporary creation in Libya,” the opening event of which will be held on the upcoming date of 23rd October. The exhibition can be seen until January 8, 2020 in Casa Árabe’s exhibition halls in Cordoba. The works displayed in the exhibition reflect upon memory, heritage and identity in a complex context in which the relationship with the past and recent history of Libya are questioned in light of the recent events affecting that country.
Sharif is working on a new installation that will form part of the exhibition on display in Cordoba.
Sidi - Mapping memories (four A5 illustrations and four pieces measuring 200 x 85 cm).
The work is an attempt to situate the history of the city of Tripoli through the family’s private photo archives, with the idea of capturing Tripoli’s lost cultural scene and the family’s relationships, while commemorating the city’s rich, complex cultural legacy. Through a narrator, “Sidi,” who tells his daughter-in-law stories about the last 100 years in the city of Tripoli, those memories are examined, searching for places that no longer exist in order to place them on the map once again, thus creating a dialogue about sociopolitical and cultural landscapes, memory, heritage and identity.
At the same time, the artist is also creating a work named Patios of Cordoba, a painting to commemorate the city of Cordoba and its lovely courtyards and palm tress, in relation with Nizar Qabbani, a Syrian diplomat an done of the most famous contemporary Arab poets (1923-1998), as well as his poems about Al-Andalus and the love story of Princess Wallada.
Takwa Abo Barnosa
During her artist-in-residency program in Cordoba, this young Libyan artist has been working on the production of two new works titled “Who Are the True Tripolitanians?” and “Mitiga International Airport,” which will now form part of the show “Tracking a Vanishing Landscape,” in which Takwa is taking part with another two works, as well.
Who Are the True Tripolitanians?
(Ink in paper, 100 x 70 cm., 2019)
My work involves criticism about who people refer to as “real Tripolitanians” and analyzes the social privileges given and taken by society itself. The map shows parts of the landscapes of Tripoli. Written texts replace the borders, showing social narratives of the places, the changes in street names, points of reference with different values, all written in a fusion of languages: Amazigh, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Ottoman Turkish and Italian.
Mitiga International Airport (video/sound installation, 2019)
This documentation/installation tells the story of Mitiga International Airport, which began operations in 2014 after Tripoli’s international airport burnt down during the civil war. Mitiga Airport was originally a military enclave, and its location inside the city turned it into a target for militias. The installation reflects the history of this airport in the everyday life of Tripoli and questions the state of resilience and denial in which its people were living.