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Mahi Binebine - Hassan Darsi



By Florence Renault



Indivision is the story of a desire, that of two artists whose artistic universes seem to follow parallel paths without being called upon to meet. A desire that has its source in what brings them together humanly and in what drives them, but also in the desire to confront a new experience and to question their respective practices... The desire to give birth to their differences and what which brings them together a third artist, an artist in "indivision", feeds on their past and present experience, their stories, their resonances and the recurring poetic imprints in their work as artists. And if "indivision" is a term that is far too legal for the title of an exhibition, it is indeed in its etymological origin[1] that it takes on its full meaning, "what cannot be divided", because it is in these common works of a whole which is one with something else. This other thing which insidiously slips into each of the works and which expresses what the two artists agree to call "what escapes us and which exceeds us, something greater than us"...

If we drew from the work of the two artists to extract an inventory of what brings them together, there would first of all be this propensity to introduce human representation only through the outlines of its forms. We would find this dark matter, industrial tar paint, experienced by both of them in their work. There would also be these superpositions of materials and shapes, skilfully orchestrated overlappings to make appear, make disappear or suggest another dimension. And in their parallel universes, we would discover that there are many bridges... But what happens in the space of these works goes beyond the scope of the practices and aesthetics of the two artists, beyond the recurring elements that the we can recognize in it, beyond a simple juxtaposition or an assembly of techniques. What is at stake within the framework of these four-handed works is indeed the exploration of an “indivision” in which each of the two artists identifies himself at the same time as he cannot extract himself from it.

First of all, there are these barely sketched silhouettes of human beings... Neither men nor women, as if emerging from one and the same mould, asexual mannequins, human models trapped in the space of the painting, which try to overflow its frame, brush against it, push it away and sometimes snuggle up in it. Fixed in their attitudes, these ghostly figures are nevertheless very much alive by what they express and by what they testify to us. An unspeakable, sly pain animates them and if we cannot distinguish their mouths we imagine them twisted by silent cries of suffering or agony. Disjointed puppets who intertwine, merge, overlap, sometimes also hybridize, Siamese by their torments, brothers of torture and penance, victims of life projected into terrestrial hells, clandestines of existence in perpetual wandering... And then there is the color black... The matte anthracite of the abyssal background that draws the contours of the bodies and the infernal scenes that play out there, and the thick, almost sticky black paint that slips and interferes with the he interior of the flesh, works on it, sculpts it, redraws it, according to the successive reversals imposed on it. A black that absorbs all the colors to let only fragments of bodies gush out, wandering and struggling in the sea of tar that seems to want to swallow them up. And finally, there is gold... A dust of gold which comes to splash with light the bodies and the black which corrodes them, to reveal a leg, a foot, a profile, a curved back, which escape the time of the illumination in the darkness of the abyss.

Between the three protagonists of the works, the human being, the color black and gold, a shy complicity is woven which we do not know if it tends to bring back hope and life or to symbolize their bursting in an explosion. solar. The gold dust, as dazzling as it is evanescent, reveals cracks, as if a second skin was trying to reconstitute itself... Or is it the opposite? Are these voids and solids, almost organic, of which we do not know if it is the black or the gold that cause them, irreparable and evolving lesions? And in the duality between gold and black then slip other contradictions. In the alchemy of materials that attract and repel each other, from fusions to splits, it is also a question of a fight, against death of course, but also perhaps against adversity. The story told by these human figures, constrained and tortured, could be that of a birth or a rebirth, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Beyond their torments, these anonymous beings remain united. They carry each other, they support each other, they also sometimes hug each other, in gestures imbued with great tenderness and a paradoxical gentleness in view of their suffering. United in the worst, they are part of a whole, both earthly and cosmic, where hope is always possible. The gleams of gold would then seem to materialize the contours of vital forces stronger than the darkness of souls, just as poetry would wrap the violence of the human condition in a veil of hope.

Two artists come together in an "indivision" that looks like an outlet. But that's also where we expect artists, in their ability to explore and reveal the evils and contradictions of our earthly world, without compromise. Two universes that one would have believed to be parallel until then, four hands, and certainly on closer inspection a fifth, which would belong neither to one nor to the other...

(November 2018)


[1]- from the Latin “Indivisio”

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