Gallery West (2018)

 
Visitors are led into a gallery space : artworks all around — walls, floor, above. All excellent.
And tents. Why tents too — here ?
Ah: that’s our very own refugee solidarity program. They’ve been here for the winter vacation, the asylum seekers, they’re moving out tonight. They just want to meet you, share maybe just a bit of food, a few stories.
Wont’ you come in ?
Won’t you
What could you possibly be afraid of ?
 

Gallery West is a work that combines a curatorial project with an immersive participatory experience. Led into a space at the intersection of a contemporary art exhibition and a refugee camp, visitors are invited to interact with "refugees" seated in tents. 

A work at the threshold of reality and fiction, Gallery West aims to dissect the way we — both artists and visitors — look at refugees and ask if it is possible to the revert that gaze's direction. How can we question the comfortable position of the spectator, and instead of facilitating voyeurism and consumption, challenge the status quo ?  
By bringing into a gallery space a real-time situation that ultimately escapes the artist’s control, Gallery West aims to reflect on the forms of agency contemporary art can offer and, more widely, it questions the role and ethics of artists confronting contemporary social and political issues. In the process, it attempts to reimagine the gallery space as a place of struggle where hegemony is  constructed, represented and contested in real time. 

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With the participation of: Arun Daniel, Beatrix Newsome, Dimitra Kreps, Elle Zahrouni, Eve Atkinson, Heronimo Sehmi, Huw John Sam, Mamad Heidari, Mona Al-Habib Nmeir, Rasfan Haval, Stefano Vona Bianchini, Tugba Tirpan, Yasmine Yagchi
And :
Fatema Niazy, Hossein Eyalati, Rodrigo B. Camacho, Sanjita Majumder

With works by: Amber Redican, Amy Dyer, Becca Heath, Dimitri Parthimos, Imogen Rough, Ioli Kavakou, Sacha Abela.