Fallen Cave Paintings: Mouhou, Touria, and Zahra

July 12- September 12

FPAC Gallery

300 Summer Street, Boston MA 02210
617-423-4299

New hours:
Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, Thursdays until 6pm

Opening reception: Thursday, July 19th 5:30-8:30 PM

Artists’ Talk: Saturday, July 21st at 1 PM with Moroccan weavers and translator as special guests.

 

Moroccan Weavers Travel to Fort Point Arts Community for Carpet Art Exhibition

 

A three-woman exhibition featuring the adventure art of American artist Terra Fuller (“Touria”) and the hand woven carpets of her two nomadic carpet weaving mentors, Zahra Ait Eshu and Mouhou Boussine, a cave dwelling nomad and subsistence farmer from Morocco are presented together in the exhibition Fallen Cave Paintings: Mouhou, Touria, and Zahra  at the FPAC Gallery at 300 Summer Street. The FPAC Gallery is the final of four stops on The Moroccan Carpet Caravan, a tour that has the weavers traveling to New Orleans, Indiana, Santa Fe and Boston for a variety of carpet weaving workshops, sales, and exhibitions.
The gallery floor is covered with carpets, walls hung with drawings, collages and Fuller’s documentary video Living with Barbarians and Cave Dwellers (31 minutes) is projected on the gallery wall. Gallery lights are focused on the floor and asks viewers to rearrange the common gallery space, shift our eyes downwards, and remove our shoes, symbols of humility and respect. The bare wooden floor, which is usually trodden upon and left dirty, is swept sparkling clean and is the center of attention. Viewers are encouraged to sit and walk upon the floor art if they remove their shoes at the entrance to the gallery. The exhibition title evokes prehistoric cave paintings and modern day “untrained” artists, Lynda Benglis’s dripped paintings that puddle on the floor and the deconstruction of painting, and the pairing of postmodern painting and ancient art of textiles. Amazigh (the indigenous culture of North Africa and Morocco, as opposed to Arabic language and culture) carpets often appear gestural, dripping, and spontaneous, though they take months to weave and require painstaking attention to detail. As slow paintings, viewers examine time and technique. Some are misshapen, often not standard squares or rectangles, because of lopsided wooden looms. The carpets are valued for their warmth for sleeping, not for their tight weave, as are Oriental carpets. Therefore, Mouhou’s and Zahra’s carpets are shaggy and expressionistic with an inventive array of textures, materials, designs and sizes. The carpets are not created for art consumption or the commercial sphere but for their families, to be displayed as functional items in private spaces. In Morocco, girls waiting for a husband weave carpets to take to their future husbands home. Newlyweds sleep on the carpets, babies are conceived and are born on the carpets and the elderly pass away on the carpets. In other words, the entire cycle of life from conception to death takes place on these carpets.

 

Living with Barbarians and Cave Dwellers is the fifth installment of Fuller’s epic adventure saga hoping to prove that she can be at home in the sublime. Fuller moves to the pre-Saharan desert plains of Morocco from 2008-2010 and integrates into an Amazigh village and learns the survival skills necessary to live with a family of cave-dwelling nomads on the edge of the village. Over two years, she follows along and documents their lives. This is a rare look into a private and fiercely independent nomadic people made possible by the patient friendship Fuller built with the villagers and cave dwelling society. Her documentary videos and multimedia art are an investigation of the sublime as imagined by Immanuel Kant. Kant wrote that humans feel at home in the presence of beauty as it feels that it was made for us when we look at it – it decorates and comforts the human realm. The sublime, however, is made for the gods and the divine – to humans it is inhospitable and threatening. Fuller’s redemption from a merely human, mortal life rests on the successful completion of her adventures as she forays into a transcendent and sublime nature.

 

About the FPAC Gallery

The Fort Point Arts Community Gallery opened in October 1995 and is dedicated to supporting artistic creation through exhibitions and public programs of local and regional artists. The FPAC Gallery is a 1,000+ square foot space at 300 Summer Street in Boston. Each exhibition runs approximately 8 weeks. The gallery can accommodate all media, including site-specific installations.

Our Gallery is run by a team of committed volunteers, who are members of FPAC. A call for submissions is issued annually, and juried by a Guest Juror or Jurors, selected by the Gallery Committee. Details are available on our website,www.fortpointarts.org. The next round of submissions will be due in spring of 2012. The 2011 call documents are still available for download as a reference.

The Gallery Committee can be reached at gallery@fortpointarts.org

About our Jurors:
Special Thanks to our 2011-12 Guest Juror,  Randi Hopkins, independent curator, co-founder and former co-director of Boston’s Allston Skirt Gallery, Associate Curator at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art from Fall 2008 through Summer 2011.