Lida Abdul
24.10.2015 – 30.01.2016
opening 23.10.2015, 6.30 p.m.
le CAP Centre d’Arts Plastiques de Saint-Fons | Lyon

Even though Lida Abdul now lives in Los Angeles, all her works: performances, photographs and more particularly, films, were made in her home country of Afghanistan, a place where she has been returning to regularly to since 2001. Lida Abdul tirelessly shows the landscapes and inhabitants of this ‘ghost country’, a land which has been at war for over thirty years. Yet contrary to an aesthetic or commemorative documentary, her films opt to tell short stories in a parabolic style, while the figures in her photographs rise to the rank of allegories. These works are less an attempt to evoke war than to see how life stubbornly persists to resume its course after the stigma of successive conflicts.

The landscapes are indeed strewn with wrecks – military debris and ruins -, so rife as to be confused with the rocks of this barren land. Jean-Yves Jouannais has emphasized the close relationship that the landscape and geography share with war, how they both mutually embody and absorb each other. Admittedly, the ruins tell of devastation and desolation, yet it is in these very relics that something pervades and resists the destructive event. The same stubborn resistance is reflected in the repetitive actions performed by actors (men, children, and less often women), all of whom are submitted to the filmic process of idling; the ritualistic acts of the body creating both inanity and spirituality. Lida Abdul’s work questions what an artist can still do in opposition to violence and war; as such, the landscapes, gestures, rare and muffled sounds, and a slowing down of time serve as a better way to renew and refocus. (Anne Giffon-Selle. Translation Paul Berry)