Mobil-home 2007

A ship is a hetherotopie par excellence. In civilizations without ships, dreams run dry, spying replaces adventure and the police substitutes the corsair.

                                                            Michel Foucault "Des Espaces autres", 1967.


Suitcases, keys, window, ferry (Departure, 2002), city walls (Untitled, Gaza walls, 2001), mirror (Me 2, 2003), transient bedrooms (Chambres 2005), shopping areas (Fathers, 2005), airports, cars, borders, (Transit, 2004), Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights melted into swiss chocolate: imaginary, metaphorical or real, private or public, each space (non-lieu) produced or documented by Taysir Batniji seems to escape any attempt demarcate it. As if we had to be reminded that, whether imposed or freely chosen, whether experienced alone or with others, precariousness and itinerancy, are like the image of the ship in Foucalt’s theory, a prerequisite of freedom. If the notion of a reclaimed home (home, homeland, land) paces the work of the palestinian artist, like the rights that we justly demand, it is never without a sense of his own fragility, his own evolution. To the eternal comfort of "home sweet home" Taysir Batniji opposes the mobile home. Are not constant movement and shifting borders at the origin of any critical artistic practice? To abandon an over-determined identity, after its imposed dispossession ; to heave a pile of sand, without end, from one side of an imaginary line to the other; to cast a bunch of keys in glass; to allow people to eat the written law (Man does not live by bread alone, 2007); to immortalize the empty interior of a transient’s bedroom : these are all acts elaborating a body of work in perpetual becoming.



Sophie Jaulmes