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May 11th 2019 - November 24th 2019



Time To Shine Bright - History of a Pavilion.

Location: Fondamenta San Giuseppe 925, Castello 30122, Venice. Google maps link.

Opening hours: 14:00 - 18:00, Friday to Sunday.

Commissioner + curator: Hellal Mahmoud Zoubir.

Artists: Rachida Azdaou, Hamza Bounoua, Amina Zoubir, Oussama Tabti.

Selected artists present their work as part of the exhibition Time To Shine Bright, the National Pavilion of Algeria as part of the 58. Venice Biennale.

" The tendency to postpone to the following day the crucial decisions of self-fulfillment and radiance, to have an attitude of dithering and waiting voluntarily, are all aspects of the ambiental inertia inviting us to reflect on the action needed to determine how to create an environment in which artists can develop and blossom in their society. These artists don't get up until they have to, though their nights are often sleepless. They wake slowly, yet their relevant actions illuminates the darkness of human stupidity without ever leaving us indifferent or forgetful. Does this render them unable to be contemporaneously present? 

In 1974, I discovered a correspondence from Karl Marx addressed to Arnold Ruge in 1843, and one particular sentence served as a leitmotif throughout my career: "Given that is it not for us to forge a time that is worth all the time in the future, it is all the more certain that what we must do for the present is a critical assessment of all that is, ruthless in the sense that our critics should not fear their own results or conflict with established powers." Given the many questions to discuss in their work, these artists have a real ability to isolate themselves, to hide from trends in order to better grasp scholarly arguments and the meaning of the blinding light. Or have they kept hidden in the shadows, sheltered from the illumination that would make them shine like a celestial body? Why must they take so much time to react when, for them, it is a question of showing themselves to the light? Do they imagine that they will always have enough time and momentum to jump into the glow, to go beyond the darkening border in order to shine once again through their creation of luminous artefacts? 

Do these artists persevere to invent their own illumination, as well to invent the time and actions necessary to transcend the immobility and inertia that has invaded their cohort and the world around them, which inhabits them and envelops them the way it does a chrysalis ready to hatch? The concept of resilience, defined by neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik, refers to the resistance that allows individuals to affected by trauma to rebuild themselves. The English word 'resilience' comes from the Latin verb 'resilio', literally meaning to jump back, to bounce and to resist in the face of shock and deformation. Should be believe that their bodies truly hurt, that they would bend their spines to metamorphose and thereby transform and renew the world around them?


Inertia makes them procrastinators, as Stanford University philosopher John Perry suggests in his book The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing. Nevertheless, a neophyte audience wrongly ignores them, as despite the fact that artists are procrastinating beings, having invented fantasies to avoid doing that which paralyses their body and mind, they are more productive and creative than others. This is what the philosopher calls structured procrastination. Is this simply the description of artists often imagined by citizens only capable of conceiving of them as inert creatives in the world of the visual arts? Yet it is these artists who enlighten citizens by their perception and their aesthetic invention of form and colour, thus unfolding the vision with which they confront the world, offering the luminous brilliant Algerian Pavilion to us only after the process of chrysalis. 

As far as we are concerned, are out artists the creative protagonists of their society and their time? Should they be considered uncommon citizens? This is a chance to illuminate our artists in the centre stage, in the spotlight, because they can lend an impetus sorely missed over these last years. They are our avant-garde, our light makers. They are acting with this genius process of resilience, beings who bring the glow to make us shine again in the darkness of the existential emptiness. 


It is high time for us to sparkle with our light. " 

Hellal Mahmoud Zoubir

Commissioner and curator, Member of the National Council of Arts and Letters, an advisory council created with the Algerian Ministry of Culture.

Curator + artist biographies

Image credit Amina Zoubir, Searching for the Algerian Pavilion, photograph of the performance made on 03.06.2013 during the 55. Venice Biennale behind the sculpture by Marc Quinn on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, 120 x 80 cm, 2013.

© Amina ZOUBIR ADAGP Paris.

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