Work by John Akomfrah and Wael Shawky on view at Palais de Tokyo
13 February 2020'Our World is Burning' is a new group exhibition opening at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, on 21 February, presenting a political view of international contemporary creative practices as seen from the Gulf – an area in which war, diplomatic tensions and human disasters generated by successive conflicts have consistently determined recent history.
The exhibition opens with a reflection on issues surrounding the Anthropocene and the question of our use of natural resources, which features 'Purple' (2017) by John Akomfrah. Elsewhere, the third film in Wael Shawky's series Al Araba Al Madfuna III (2012-2015) draws on theme of alienation by depicting tales of the life in the Southern Egyptian village. The people of Al Araba Al Madfuna are known to seek the physical treasures buried by their ancestors through the guidance of a shaman with supernatural powers. Produced in negative and featuring children as actors – whose lines are then dubbed in Arabic with adult voices – Shawky blends stories of the village from literature with his personal experiences to create a detached, surreal narrative of a semi-fictionalised place.
'Our World is Burning' is on view from 21 February to 17 May.
Image: Wael Shawky, Al Araba Al Madfuna III (2015; still), black & white film, sound, subtitles © Wael Shawky