Paris-based Tarik Kiswanson, a visual artist of Palestinian descent, and Jesi Khadivi, a Berlin-based curator and writer, were in conversation to discuss Tarik's practice within a post-Diasporic context.
Jesi Khadivi writes:
The pursuit of closeness, of coming closer, permeates the poetic logic of the artist Tarik Kiswanson’s writing: both in its structure and in its exploration of the human condition. Whether through windows or screens, the world that Kiswanson creates in his poetry is one in thrall to constant paroxysms of expansion and contraction. A world so close that you could carry it within your body, yet so vast that it can only be experienced through connection, in communion with forces that at times seem to be working against you.
Tarik himself describes his work—which encompasses sculpture, writing, performance, sound, and video—as being “the border, the window between the iris and the world outside.”
The window is less a demarcation between two opposed realms than a portal—a space between. This dynamic interstitial space nurtures his practice and animates his reflections on the human condition. all windows of my rooms let me see and let all others see me will use the motifs of the mirror and the window as starting points to mark a new chapter in our ongoing conversation about the themes of rootlessness, regeneration, disintegration, hybridity, and renewal that have persisted through collaborations on multiple exhibition projects, exchanges of writing, and marathon WhatsApp chats.
Jesi Khadivi is an independent curator, writer, and editor based in Berlin where she directs PORCINO, an exhibition space founded by the artist David Horvitz. Khadivi curated Tarik Kiswanson’s solo exhibition come, come, come of age at Fondation Ricard in 2018 and in that same year contributed an essay to his first book of poetry As Deep as I Could Remember, As Far as I Could See. She has curated projects at venues such as PS120, Berlin; carlier | gebauer, Berlin; and the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco. Her writing has appeared in numerous artist monographs and publications such as Frieze, Fillip, FlashArt, Kaleidoscope, Ibraaz, and The Brooklyn Rail.
Tarik Kiswanson has developed a distinctive conceptual language that evokes notions of rootlessness, regeneration, and renewal, all of which are recurring themes in his oeuvre. Born in Halmstad, Sweden, where his family exiled from Palestine in the 1980’s, his multi-faceted practice evinces an engagement with the poetics of métissage: a means of writing and surviving between multiple conditions and contexts. His practice examines questions of displacement and interstitiality that specifically relate to the context of what is lost, and what is gained, in the second generation of migration. His various bodies of work can be understood as a cosmology of related conceptual “families,” each exploring variations on themes like refraction, multiplication, disintegration, hybridity, and polyphony through their own distinct language.
Kiswanson received his MFA from École National Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (2014) and BFA from Central Saint Martins - University of the Arts London (2010). He has recently presented his work at Lafayette Anticipations (2018), Fondation Ricard (2018) and the Gwangju Biennial (2018). Upcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, a major new commissioned work for Performa 2019, and the Ural Biennial in Ekaterinburg, Russia.