Art in meetings of cultures without borders by Claude Lorent
At the Permeke Museum, a painter and sculptor, Atassi and de Senna, integrate traditions into contemporary expressions.
In the United States, we distinguish high and low culture through thecommon ground of expression with the advent of Pop Art. In Europe, to make the distinction, one speaks rather of popular art and intellectual art. Another common distinction emphasizes the difference between the artisan, sometimes called creation, and the practicing artist. We also note that a movement such as Street Art, in its various forms, enjoys more and more recognition of artistic institutions and that the interactions between sources and forms of expression, multiply. Globalization leads to a better knowledge of the arts elsewhere making the criteria of reference hitherto imposed mainly by the Western arts more and more obsolete. More nomadic, many artists do not hesitate, in contact with foreign colleagues, other modes of thought and realization, to create mixed influences. All this does not constitute a current but amply promotes a dialogue between cultures and therefore consideration, respect, mutual recognition, contributions and wealth of each other. It is from this angle of view that the exhibition of two artists, Farah Atassi and Tramaine de Senna, is being held at the Permeke Museum in Jabbeke (Ostend).
Certainly, in this original duet, we will consider the works for themselves, for their intrinsic qualities, but the point of view ahead will enrich the approach and the understanding of the respective approaches. The term "Folklore", in the title, may surprise. It is to be understood in a sense put forward by Unesco, which speaks rather of traditional or popular culture to be safeguarded because it participates fundamentally in people and their history. Why schedule this exhibition at the Permeke Museum? Because the Flemish artist, writes curator Ilse Roosens, was "fascinated by the aesthetic qualities of masks and sculptures from Africa" and with others, "they have studied the context of folklore objects and argued for their recognition.
The exhibition brings together works by two emblematic artists on a journey enriched by multiple contributions. Farah Atassi is Belgian of Syrian origin living in France. She has repeatedly exhibited in the gallery Michel Rein in Brussels, emphasizing the originality of the semantics and syntax of paintings which intervene as much allusions to Modern art as those of the Native Americans! Tramaine de Senna is American and lives in Antwerp after a triple training in the USA, Netherlands and HISK in Ghent. Her works, colored, predominantly sculptural or textile, are in their own way, analysis of codes of meaning, architectural, sartorial or graphic as the drawings of the Navajo Native Americans. In both cases, singular aesthetics are rich in meanings.
"Universal Folklore", Farah Atassi and Tramaine de Senna, Permekemuseum, Gistelsteenweg 341, 8490 Jabbeke. Until October 21st. From Tuesday to Sunday, from 10h to 12h30 and from 13h30 to 18h. www.muzee.be