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Saudi Gazette, Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Gallery

w e e k e n d e d i t i o n@s a u d i g a z e t t e . c o m . s a


AUNCHED in 2013, this concept created by Lina Lazaar, the Foundation’s Vice-President and a specialist

in contemporary Arab art, gathers artists, art collectors, gallery owners, academics, art specialists, among

others, around exhibitions, conferences and seminars on culture and contemporary art. On the occasion

of Jaou, many art galleries joined the event and organized original exhibitions of contemporary art. In its

third edition in 2015, Jaou was marked by an original exhibition: All the World’s Mosque, organized by KLF

in Carthage. 

Jaou endeavours to further the cause of life expression in the MENA region, through art. A moving

platform, designed as a cultural caravan, Jaou Tunis unites a cross section of the community’s most

passionate stakeholders, over a four-day celebration.

Now in its fifth year, Jaou brought together artists, independent curators, and cultural thinkers, to explore the complex

definition of heritage in Tunisia’s post-revolution existence. Through a deliberate process of reductionism, Jaou explored the

idea of ‘approved heritage,’ through the prism of the four elements; Earth, Fire, Wind and Water. This simplification formed the

lens through which Jaou will investigate the complex landscape of Tunisia’s fragile present day condition, and in particular, its

cultural narrative. Notwithstanding the politicisation of Tunisia’s heritage - entirely inconsistent with how Tunisian’s actually view

themselves - Jaou posed a simple question; to whom does heritage belong?

This edition of Jaou engaged a carefully selected group of forgotten public spaces, through an artistic pilgrimage

of decay. Attendees were welcomed to a series of discussions, gallery viewings, as well as the opening of four, unique,

contemporary art exhibitions; Water, Earth, Fire and Air. The exhibitions were lead by four fresh Tunisian curators, each inspiring

participants to partake in a cultural assessment of their own.

- Jaou Tunis










About The Curators:

Curator Pavilion FIRE:

Amel Ben Attia

Amel Ben Attia is a visual art-

ist. She holds a degree from the

university of Fine Arts of Tunis

and studied visual arts in Nabeul.

Her practice ranges from paint-

ing to video and she has most

recently been exploring sculpture

and installation. She is making her

curatorial debut at Jaou Tunis with

her exhibition based on the element

of Fire. Her approach, she says,

was inspired by an interview with

Marguerite Yourcenar who, upon

being asked what he would take

with him if his house burned down,

responded with a quote from Jean

Cocteau: “I would take the fire”. It

is this sentence that served as Amel

Ben Attia’s starting point for her

project. For Jaou Tunis 2018 she is

exploring the ambivalence of the

fire element and thus chose to look

at it from each artist’s particular

vantage point.

Curator Pavilion WATER:

Myriam Ben Salah

Myriam Ben Salah grew up in

Tunis before moving to Paris

to study literature followed by

business school. In parallel she

pursued a theatre degree at the

Sorbonne and completed her

university degree with a major

in Media, Art and Production

at HEC. She eventually left the

theatre world, which she found

somewhat restrictive, in favour

of the dynamic contemporary art

field. In an autodidactic fashion

she gathered the tools of the

trade by hanging exhibitions,

visiting art fairs and conducting

studio visits. Her path eventu-

ally lead her to organising solo

exhibitions while also writing for

publications including Art Press,

Artforum, KALEIDOSCOPE and

Mousse. For her pavilion at Jaou

Tunis 2018, Myriam is exploring

the importance of the Mediter-

ranean Sea, the strength of the

Mediterranean identity and the

region’s youth through the lens

of the element of water.

Curator Pavilion AIR:

Aziza Harmel

Aziza Harmel grew up in Tunis where she studied arts and craftsmanship

in Denden before moving to the Netherlands to pursue a bachelor’s de-

gree in Graphic Design at the Royal

Academy of Arts of Amsterdam fol-

lowed by a master’s degree in Fine

Arts from the prestigious Dutch Art

Institute where she discovered her

interest in curatorial work. She has

been focusing part of her research-

based practice on Tunisia. She is

bringing her practice to Jaou Tunis

2018 by way of associating the

element of air with the invisible to

question visibility itself, be it in the

field of art or elsewhere. Inspired

by visits to numerous abandoned

spaces she is particularly interested

in their appropriation.

Curator Pavilion EARTH:

Khadija Hamdi-Soussi

Khadija Hamdi Soussi has always

been immersed in art. She has in

the past worked at the Arab World

Institute in Paris and conducted

several internships in galleries and

auction houses including Sotheby’s

and Tajan as part of her master

studies for which she researched

the art market at EAC Paris. She

then pursued a PhD in Islamic art

at the Sorbonne. For Jaou Tunis

2018, Khadija is taking the element

of earth as the subject of an imagi-

nary museum showcasing artists

who are interested in heritage and

the concept of museums.

Curator of Jaou Tunis:

Lina Lazaar

An expert of contemporary art and

a curator, Lina Lazaar also serves

as the Vice President of the Kamel

Lazaar Foundation. She previously

worked as a director at Sotheby’s

in London for 10 years and con-

tributed to the birth of an art mar-

ket in the Arab world while organ-

ising over ten major exhibitions

devoted to contemporary art in the

MENA region. In 2017 she was

entrusted with the representation

of Tunisia at the Venice Biennale.

For Jaou Tunis 2018 Lina resumes

her role as artistic director of this

annual contemporary art gathering.