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Mohammed Sami Show all photos
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Mohammed Sami:

Isthmus

From 19 March to 13 October 2024

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Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation

Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation

Via Modane, 16, Turin

Closed today: open tomorrow at 20:00

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The Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation presents, from 19 March to 13 October, “Isthmus”, the first solo show in Italy by Mohammed Sami (Baghdad, 1984). The exhibition presents a new cycle of paintings, created by the artist for this occasion. Throughout his extensive production, Mohammed Sami has focused on exploring the relationship between contemporary painting and episodic memory. The experience of what the artist calls thereness, the sensation of being momentarily and unconsciously pushed - often through a sensation - to a place in one's mind that is not "here", but elsewhere, is at the heart of Sami's works, which draw from his experience of migration and the persistence of the effects of this traumatic event on his subjectivity. By honing the use of various technical skills, including composition and framing, color, texture and titling, Sami seeks to push contemporary painting's potential to evoke specific atmospheres without inserting anything explicit or direct. The paintings often feature deliberately jarring compositions: always uninhabited, the shots reveal only partial details of a scene, where composition, color, texture, light and shadow take on a central role. Through the convergence of these different elements, questions emerge about how impressions and moods translate into episodic memory.


“Isthmus”, recalls the concept of isthmus (البَرزَخ); a place that separates two things. In Arabic, this idea is incorporated into the term Barzarkh, which denotes the separation between the world of the living and what comes after, similar to the Christian concept of purgatory. The title of the exhibition suggests the disturbing sensation of being in the balance, left suspended, in limbo. This state of mind is present, in a different way, in all the paintings: nothing is ever made explicit, but the conflict seems to hide beneath the surface of each work, each with an independent character and setting. Adding further complexity to the his pictorial vocabulary, Sami's brushwork expands to everyday materials mixed with paint, such as sand and spray paint. Even from a compositional point of view, the works evoke restless and fragmentary atmospheres: the points of view seem either too close - showing only the details and without depth of field - or obscured by the shadow - with large sections of the canvas blackened - thus leaving the I'll have an unsettling feeling that I'm somewhere in the middle; not quite here or there.

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Exhibitions included:

The Otolith Group Danielle McKinney Mohammed Sami Diana Anselmo

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