Maïmouna Guerresi: Aisha in Wonderland

Maïmouna Guerresi: Aisha in Wonderland

From April 19 to June 2, 2018, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle will present Aisha in Wonderland, an exhibition of recent work Italian-Senegalese artist Maïmouna Guerresi.

The exhibition is an allegorical journey that centers around themes dear to Guerresi and links to the charm and value of the mystic and veiled body’s diversity. It is the representation of the spiritually strong woman who, through her own identity, is able to dissolve the distinctions present between the masculine and feminine genres, leaving aside the stereotypes linked to Islam.

For over twenty years, Guerresi’s poetic work has been about empowering women, bringing together individuals and cultures in an appreciation for the shared humanity that transcends psychological, cultural, and political borders.

Aisha in Wonderland is developed around the concept of inner identity and communication, as the importance of freedom of expression, a narrative path, where video works, photographs and installations alternate.

The different dimensions of the photographic works and their position in the exhibition space recall the proportions of Alice in the famous novel in which she becomes big or small depending on her meetings and experiences.

Here Aisha does not appear as the protagonist of this visual narration, but as the gaze through which the observer manages to access an inner and hidden universe.

Her new series deals with the theme of equilibrium through a metaphysical and surreal interpretative key, articulated by means of two different techniques: the sculptural installation and the photographic installation.

The protagonists of the photographs walk or stop in unusual spaces, appropriating new physical and spiritual faculties.

In Kadija’s Minbar, the protagonist points to a distant point in space with a long branch. The moment of elevation from a wooden structure recalls the Minbar, a pulpit where the sermons take place in mosques— a space specifically dedicated to the male imam and denied to women.

These characters are a metaphor for the idea of identity, which in this work has been re-envisioned on the basis of spatial, cultural, and linguistic coordinates that transcend geographical boundaries.

Maïmouna Guerresi is a multimedia artist working with photography, sculpture, video, and installation. An Italian-Senegalese artist, born in Italy, her work presents an intimate perspective on spiritual ideas of human beings in relation to their inner mystical dimensions. Guerresi’s images are delicate narratives with fluid sequencing, an appreciation of shared humanity beyond borders— psychological, cultural, and political. Recurrent metaphors such as milk, light, the hijab, trees, and contrasting white and black create awareness of the vital unifying qualities of Islamic spirituality.

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