Jayce Salloum — Récits Alternatifs (du Liban à l’Afghanistan, par la Vallée de l’Okanagan…)


Installation, mixed media, video

Jayce Salloum
Récits Alternatifs (du Liban à l’Afghanistan, par la Vallée de l’Okanagan…)

Past: November 24, 2011 → March 16, 2012

Presented on the occasion of the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid

Récits alternatifs brings together a collection of videographic works stemming as much from image as from narrative. The work of Jayce Salloum features an approach critical of the complex relationship between subjectivity and objectivity, since the reality in which he is interested is highly "sensitive”. This work is elaborated, unlike the inevitably simplistic and hasty approach of the mass media, with acute awareness of the common practice and social, political, aesthetic and, more generally, ideological effects of representation.

Tuned into the places and people (from the anonymous farmer to the national treasure) linked to major territorial, cultural and ethnic conflicts, but on the margins of stereotyped, dominant or official discourse, this work does not cover events or brandish messages, but archives encounters, exchanges, traces, impressions, expressions, confidences and wandering thoughts.

Récits alternatifs presents the visual and aural crackling that animates the work of Salloum and does not lead the viewer to a specific place but keeps him or her in a less comfortable area of exchanges back and forth that undermine the fixity of tightly circumscribed positions and perceptions. Personal and public archives still constitute the material of an art that is not afraid of entering into the complexity of the contexts of pressing political and human issues, from where beauty manages to emerge alongside sorrows and ruins. Salloum’s art leads the viewer to ask him- or herself disturbing questions about the various forms of nationalism, transnationality, integration, colonization, migrations, beliefs and domestic conflicts that haunt the individual and define whether or not he or she belongs to a group, history, nation-state or ideology. These questions are not asked but emerge in the particular form of composition and montage that characterizes the work of Salloum, filled with words and images and elaborated using a point of view in constant motion.

The first major solo exhibition by the artist in France, Récits alternatifs intertwines in time and in space works conceived at various points in Salloum’s career and in places as varied as the former Yugoslavia visited after the 1999 bombings (Ljubljana, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skopje), Lebanon (in Beirut in 1994, then in two Palestinian refugee camps in 2000), Paris (where the artist met an emblematic figure of the Lebanese resistance, Soha Bechara, in 1999), Kelowna, British Columbia, home of the Syilx Nation and the birthplace of Salloum after his family moved from Lebanon to Saskatchewan then to British Columbia, the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan after the destruction of the colossal fifth-century Buddha statues in 2001. In these places steeped in history, which the artist surveys between the present and the past and based on encounters with local individual histories, Récits alternatifs adds three older works directly linked to a specific place: …In the Absence of Heroes… (1984), The Ascent of Man (1985–87) and Once You’ve Shot the Gun You Can’t Stop the Bullet (1988). In a manner of speaking these works are respectively essays on the individual decision-making process, the influence of the media on the individual and interpersonal relations, the collapse of love and the regeneration imagined through a half-real, half-metaphorical journey taking the artist from Beirut to Vancouver via Jerusalem, Las Vegas and Tijuana.

Curator : Catherine Bédard

  • Opening Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6 PM → 8:30 PM
07 Paris 7 Zoom in 07 Paris 7 Zoom out

5, rue de Constantine

75007 Paris

T. 01 44 43 21 90 — F. 01 44 43 21 99

Official website

Assemblée Nationale

Opening hours

Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Admission fee

Free entrance

The artist

  • Jayce Salloum