Halim Al Karim


Personal exhibition of Halim Al Karim

From September 25 until December 20, 2014

Opening Septembre 25 at 6 pm, in the presence of the artist

As if it were impossible to determine one way or another, Halim Al Karim’s photographs are both free and subdued. Not because of any indecision, but through an intense desire for openness. Indeed this man in movement, born in 1963 in Najaf (Iraq), attempts to draw a bridge between his own solitude and the constant noise of the world.
Thus, his latest series, Illusion (2013), is haunted by women and the mirages-faces he is known for. Like mermaid’s singing, they pay hommage to The Lady of Warka which he glimpsed at in the Museum of Fine Arts in Baghdad as a child. She had  smiled to him, an unexpected gift. He shied away then, just as he likes to eclipse himself today, working at antipodes, in Dubaï (UEA) and Denver (Colorado, USA), entirely devoted to this medium with an extensible chemistry that copies his thoughts into images, practically to the letter. Life as a fluid, and photography too.

Ceaselessly, Halim Al Karim unravels the hypothesis of continuous time in a space bordered by easily crossed frontiers, sometimes using a false identity. Without losing face, but his youth. Is this a game? Or rather an attempt to capture a new  dimension within these troubled lands, one that would not be too close or too distant, just like when you look through a camera lens. A trap for tricks, delights or artifices? In substance, the artist responds that he can do what he likes. He has built a camera which is larger than life, a kind of mobile machine straight out of Brobdingnag, capable of recording his most intimate resolutions.

The idea was to travel to the past while protecting yourself from the present, and then evoke the present to put the past back in its place, however bloody. Here photography is like a tool to conjure up memories thanks to the technique of wet collodion, utilised in the nineteenth century: difficult to believe, but he did…

Brigitte Ollier

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