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Myriam Ben Salah’s “We Dance, We Smoke, We Kiss”

Myriam Ben Salah is a curator and writer based in Paris, where she has been coordinating special projects and public programs at Palais de Tokyo since 2009, focusing especially on performance art, video and publishing initiatives. She is the Editor in Chief of Kaleidoscope magazine’s International Edition. She is curating the exhibition We Dance, We Smoke, We Kiss as a result of her residency at Farenheit since July.

About the Project

The idea of We Dance, We Smoke, We Kiss is to shift away from the established ‘East-West’ binary that oversimplifies complex realities and cultural identities and to feature the works and researches of a new generation of artists (Sophia Al Maria, Meriem Bennani, Phil Collins, GCC, Kareem Lotfy, Tala Madani, Jumana Manna, Slavs & Tatars, Téléramadan) who digested both the rich cultural history of their respective countries and the contemporary connected world that we live in. Creating some kind of “vernacular desorientalism” , decongesting the stigmatized visions of the region in a post 9/11 context, they challenge playfully the stereotypes and provide alternative narratives through image production. They foster an art that is playful and provocative, developing new views on the religious experience, blending together politics and pop culture with social satire and salutary self deprecation.

“This is a tale of a slicked wedding singer from the Gaza Strip who won Arab Idol.This is a tale of joy blooming from a loosely defined region where nuances are overlooked and histories are simplified through the lenses of failure, conflict, and narrow aesthetic formulas.”