Lebanese artist Nadim Karam looks at the politics of dialogue

Beirut artist Nadim Karam shows the paradox of dialogue in a rotating kinetic installation at the Venice Art Biennale 2019.

Nadim Karam, Politics of dialogue, Venice Art Biennale 2019. Photo Elie Nohra

Up and down, seven golden sculptural figures in elongated megaphone-like forms, standing in a circle, move on a rotating platform. The carousel turns to its tune, allowing each sculpture its prominent moment to lead a discussion that goes round and round in circles, never reaching a conclusion.

Located in the Marinaressa Gardens in Venice until 24 November, as part of “Personal Structures”a multi-artist, multi-venue exhibition hosted by the European Cultural Centre in the context of the Biennale Arte 2019, this kinetic installation by Lebanese artist Nadim Karam expresses the paradox of ineffective communication in a world of hyper-connectivity as the figures appear to be embroiled in an intense face-to-face dialogue. 

Titled “Politics of Dialogue: The Merry-Go-Round”, it highlights the challenges and suffering faced in repeated communication crises within geo-political institutions.

Says the artist: “Dialogue assumes the creation of a level playing field; however, it often happens in isolation from the area or population of concern, becoming thus futile and obsolete. ‘Politics of Dialogue’ is about communication confined in a bubble. The longer the dialogue, the more deafening it becomes. It is a trapped dialogue, rotating upon itself, and offered to the observer on a shiny platter.” Karam, whose previous public works have put a similar spotlight on the complexities of society through his use of playful absurdity, says one could view this as the Brexit discussion, or as the EU itself. “When the countries meet they don’t necessarily come away with any results […] democracies are losing themselves in dialogue.”

Politics of Dialogue: The Merry-Go-Round
Nadim Karam
Marinaressa Gardens
Opening dates:
until 24 November 2019
Riva dei Sette Martiri, 30122 Venice

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