Third Space: X-Ray Syria
13.01.16 – 10.02.16
Third Space is a series of exhibitions, events and discussions. It is a conceptual place where artists can come together to express their ideas and experiences. This is a safe space where conversations can be open and shared, where stories can be heard, and differences discussed.
This solo exhibition presents the work of Syrian artist Zaher Omareen. Omareen does not want to be a spokesperson or representative of the conversation around Syria. Instead, these short, low-fi films use found footage showing the effects of conflict both in Syria and elsewhere to present differing voices and interpretations. The broken images juxtaposed with poetry, music or narrative highlight the absurd nature of conflict.
Shown on loop, they leave the viewer with different opinions depending on when they start watching. Honing in on the individual - either experiencing, taking part or watching war - these are poignant snapshots of the consequences of conflict.
Co-Curators Lois Stonock and Alma Salem have selected over 30 works for the Third Space series of exhibitions including films, photography, painting and textiles that highlight the roles that artists play in responding to conflict and displacement. This exhibition is the third in the series. Third Space has been created as a part of 'Artists in Recovery', a British Council Culture and Development programme.
Zaher Omareen is a Syrian director, writer and artist based in London. His work includes Two Stories (2013), about exile and different visual approaches to remembering conflict. His current film project draws on footage from inside the Syrian conflict and, with support from the British Council, demonstrates the roles that artists play in supporting recovery and resilience.
Omareen is the artistic director of Syria’s Mobile Phone Film Festival, an international competition which presents pocket films recorded on mobiles and which held festival screenings in war-torn Syria last year. In 2015 his work was featured in the Victoria & Albert’s exhibition, Disobedient Objects.
He has also curated a series of short Syrian films and curated and commissioned 35 one-shot, one- minute movies by Syrian filmmakers for Imago Mundi Syria, an exhibition featuring 140 Syrian artists that was shown at the Venice Biennale in August 2015. This exhibition has been generously supported by the British Council.