I guess that dreams are always there
May 10 - June 30, 2014
Grey Noise, Dubai

Certainty and doubt

A chat with Charbel-joseph H. Boutros can move in many different directions, in quick and precise movements: geography and pop noir (80's), romanticism and geopolitics, architecture and colonialism, sensitivity and calculation, conceptualism and melancholy, disaster and nature touch each other and move away, in a discourse where irony
becomes the engine for thought. And it was in one of these moments in Salvador, Bahia, where the idea of belief (of faith, the renunciation of doubt) appeared as one of the possible keys to approaching the elements presented here, in this place, these works by Charbel offering a curious form of testimony.

The Belief, the faith. Nothing really changes. These words have meant both violence and pacification and have almost been used as tools to build a sort of defensive shield against all kinds of criticism; and even in the narrative of art nothing has differed. But what could happen when your own faith becomes a bargaining chip, the value to be negotiated, turning itself (the belief) into the trigger that fires critical thinking?

Faith (this is almost forgotten) does not only mean religiousness, but is also an intimate, non-verbal and falsely rational agreement where more, and different possibilities can be found under time and space; in fact, a condition where a border is lost, for the good and for the bad. Faith, of course, is not something that can be given, but generally something that is asked for, and what Charbel-joseph asks for now, without any form of cynicism, is that that intimate agreement is fulfilled, again, so that doubt disappears and the transaction can be carried out.

Charbel-joseph presents his facts: the days of the month under the sun of a different continent; the tears of each eye; the phone calls oriented by geography; his notions of time and space resulting in the creation of a personal diary and a report of solved equations. This is not about staging. The audience is asked to believe in the truth of everything that is told and described, in the rational procedure and in the sentimental drama that form the context of his actions. That is the impasse. How long can you continue supporting your own doubt?

Text by Marcelo Rezende
Director, Bahia’s Museum of Modern Art (MAM/BA) and Chief-Curator of the 3rd Bahia Biennial.

About the Artist

b. 1981, Bickfaya, Lebanon / Lives and works between Beirut, Paris and Masstricht

H. Boutros was a researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands. He was a resident at the FAAP artist residency in Sao Paulo, Brasil in 2011 - 12 and in La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2012 - 13. His works have been exhibited at the 12th International Istanbul Biennial, Untitled, Turkey; Beirut Art Center, Lebanon; MAM - BA Museum of Modern Art, Bahia, Salvador, Brasil; Galerie Anne Barrault, part of Nouvelles Vagues, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Fons Welters Gallery, Amsterdam; Grey Noise, Dubai; Jan Van Eyck, The Netherlands and his upcoming exhibitions will be at the 3rd Bahia Biennial, Brasil in May 2014, Palais de Tokyo, Paris in July 2014 and the 3rd Vancouver Biennale, 2014.

His works are a part of the Bonnefanten Museum-Hedge House Collection, The Netherlands and have also been acquired by the Dutch Ministry of Culture.

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