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Du 25/04/2023 à 18:00 jusqu'au 06/05/2023 à 18:00

If belonging is a place, it is set within a dream, interrupted yet repeated as escaped fragments of my subconscious mind. I am fascinated by the interplay between place and identity and how it shapes our sense of self. In my exhibition, Elusive Dreams of Belonging, I explore this tension through a series of house-shaped configurations that evolved from the realm of my imagination. My houses are used as an observation that questions the significance of the concept ‘home is identity’ by exploring their tangibility within the context of dislocated identities. The dislocated identities are not defined by conventional notions that one’s identity is solely determined by their home, instead, they highlight the complexity and fluidity of identity formation for those whose sense of self and place is constantly evolving. By challenging the predetermined nature of our identities, I seek to shift the intersections of the conventional notions of selfhood and contradictory processes that define ‘belonging’ and, consequently, ‘unbelonging’


Home is not always the answer to understanding our identity, but exploring the sense of self opens a space where belonging can be attainable. I have always been on the move, the shift of locations across Europe and the Middle East resulted in experiences that physically distanced me from my Iraqi roots. Houses transform into sensory details in my search for connecting to my cultural heritage. I found inspiration in the practice of ancient Mesopotamian dream interpretations and modern Arabic poetry on the feeling of disconnection experienced by people of displacement and alienation in the region. My work places reality in a dreamlike landscape. This forges a far-reaching connection between the physical and mental factors of dislocated identities, reflecting how our subconscious minds can influence our perceptions of self and reality. 


Rim Albahrani (b.1995), was born in Amman, Jordan. From the early stages of her life, she was set on a vagabond life. Having lived with her Iraqi family in Yemen, Sweden, Qatar, and The United Kingdom, she was exposed to different cultures that shaped her. Art was introduced to her in her formative years by her artist parents. Her love of art and history made her pursue her undergraduate degree in History of Art followed by a graduate degree specialising in Modern and Contemporary Art. 


Upon graduation, Rim uncovered her interest in practicing art. As she struggled with her diaspora, she started to create based on the concept of home. The paintings and sculptures that she makes are centred around the categorical assumptions of identity and its association with the socially constructed concept "Home is identity". She uses houses of various shapes and arrangements to redress the notion that our identities are assigned and settled. For Rim, the construct of a house opens up the discussion of belonging and un-belonging to the older and younger generations with dislocated identities. This is why her art is built on abstract formations of cities and homes based on her memories and imaginations to challenge the concept - home is identity. Each ceramic piece is called a “Block House”. Historically a blockhouse is a small, strongly built structure used for defence against attack. “For me” Rim says, “the blockhouses are very much like our identities, specifically diasporic identities that are strong and defensive because of the pain of losing or leaving our homes. Their hollow-core continues to speak of the story of the void within” 



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