An exhibition that shows how we are in the world through the landscapes we walk through and the stories we tell

Four women and a world of remnants at Casa Árabe

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Curated by María Gómez López, Casa Árabe is hosting an original exhibition at its Madrid headquarters, bringing together works by Filwa Nazer, Asmaa al-issa, Amina Agueznay and Christine Gedeon. Four women artists, diverse and peculiar with their roots in Arabia, Iraq, Morocco and Syria, respectively, their relocation and passage through other countries and the world of emerging memories that emerge in their works.

Filwa Nazer, whose work focuses on exploring the emotional impact of the spatial and social environment, conceived her sculptural installation in London, but after her return to Jeda, the piece is an account of that transitional time in which the artist returns to a familiar but transformed space. Filwa uses the colour black as a reference to the country's traditional female dress, the abaya, on which she embroiders different motifs. Her series "Tactile Mapping", originally produced for the Sharjah Art Foundation, imagines the daily life of the last inhabitant of Beit Al Hurma, one of the historic coral stone houses that make up the Emirati art centre. And, in an extrapolation of her own preoccupations with body, space and dress, Filwa explores the traces of the energy of the woman who resisted leaving her home.

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For her part, Asmaa al-issa develops a particular relationship with the imaginaries of the Iraqi landscape through embroidery. To a large extent, her work is a reflection on the regenerative power of the ties to the land of diasporic communities. In several pieces, Asmaa returns to the motif of the palm tree as an emblematic element of the landscape in Iraq, where her father owned farmland that was occupied after his departure. Her work delves into the ancestral presence of the palm tree, on the one hand as a family tree and a mnemonic tool that allows her to trace a path back to an Iraq she never revisited, and on the other, as a symbol of the journey her family undertook from Iraq to Canada via Jordan.

Amina Agueznay, after her return to Morocco from the United States, began producing pieces of jewellery in various materials and collaborates with artisan workshops in initiatives aimed at preserving and reinventing traditional ways of working. The most striking work on display in this exhibition is his Inner Garden, and he uses a new word in English, "inscape", to describe the distinctive conception that is individual identity. A dynamic identity that, like a fingerprint, is unique to each being. She defines her working process as follows: "it is a methodical organisation of sequences: first, I release the matter; then, I tame it; finally, it becomes structure". She explains that she needs to mobilise her rigour as an architect, to confront the resistance of the materials, and thus, "to move away as soon as I have pushed the technical limits of the material to the maximum".

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Christine Gedeon grew up with the stories her family told about Syria, a country she left as a child and only visited once in 2006. Her first pieces were produced during the conflict and revolve around the imaginary of a place that is now vanishing. In "Aleppo: Deconstruction/Reconstruction", the artist creates a fragmentary archive of the corners of the city, taking her personal and family memories and stories as a starting point. Among them, she is particularly shocked to learn of the blackmail to which high-ranking officials of Hafez Al-Assad subjected her uncle, who, despite giving in to the arbitrary dispossession of his own house, was unable to save the life of his brother, imprisoned in the dictator's dungeons. All of this is explained on the aluminium panels with brief texts that record the memories that his uncle Nabil, his mother and other relatives have of the mapped locations. And so, at a time when many of Syria's cities are blurred by the ravages of war, Christine proposes a particular way of returning to them and their preservation through the map, the patchwork and the remnant.exposicion-cuatro mujeres

In addition to an oral narration by Laura Casielles of the texts written by the curator María Gómez, the exhibition has been successfully coordinated by Nuria Medina.