WITH OPEN HEART: Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe

4 February 2022 - 6 February 2023

"Dazzling and poetic, Slimen Elkamel's work is an eloquent tribute to the Tunisia he loves so much. In it, the painter explodes his culture, placing it at the service of grandiose conceptions. A narrator of dreams, the artist paints not simply the history of his country, but the bewitching humanity of the civilizations that have passed through it. Art is always synonymous with sharing and discovery, so it is with immense pleasure that I welcome Slimen Elkamel, a virtuoso artist on the contemporary Arab art scene, to the Institut du Monde Arabe."


Jack Lang


Discovering the works of Slimen Elkamel is to feel a particular strength, that of apprehending the world differently. At a time when uncertainty "is gaining ground without us being able to conceive how", the artist invites us to take alternative paths, those of a "new, floating knowledge, which gives you the confidence not to be swallowed up". In a world of instantaneous, submissive information, the artist opts for a slow, multi-directional journey, an apprenticeship. Losing oneself as a source of rhizomic connection. In a world of star-studded, hegemonic and futile personalities, the artist chooses "the unknown, the marginalized, the overlooked, the bystanders". In a world of ego, the artist chooses to decentralize, to relate, to reinvent the relationship with the non-human. In a world of mass surveillance and post-truth, the artist chooses the coded, the imaginary, the oral tradition inherited from her aunts, an inexhaustible source of resistance and freedom. "I've learned that art lends its ear to the world when it turns its back on the finitude of its history". Come in, lend your ear to the world! "A cœur ouvert" is an act of life, a call for a new beginning, an invitation to listen to the diversity of the world, the most lucid way of "not swallowing ourselves up".


Ronan Grossiat