AMZROU / MOROCCO
Art Center Vaste et Vague | 774 Boulevard Perron | Carleton-sur-Mer (Carleton sector)
From July 13th to August 15th
Tuesday to Sunday: from 1 pm to 5 pm
Tuesday to Friday: from 7 pm to 8:30 pm
From August 16th to August 22nd
Tuesday to Sunday: from 11 am to 5 pm
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Sylvia Safdie, Montreal, Québec | sylviasafdie.com
Sylvia Safdie was born in Aley, Lebanon, in 1942, and lived in Israel before moving to Canada in 1953.
She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in 1975. She is based in Montreal, and her work has been exhibited in Canada, the U.S., Europe and China.
Through her paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations, and by the use of natural materials such as sand, earth and dust, Sylvia Safdie’s work is both poetic and meditative. Her video art, begun in 2001, can be seen as a natural extension of her previous work in static media; these videos become a moving canvas on which to explore ideas of space and time, stasis and movement, sound and silence, embodiment and nature.
EXHIBIT AT RENCONTRES
AMZROU / MOROCCO
“The subject of the Moroccan series is the Jewish Berbers of southern Morocco, who lived there for 2,500 years. The work is a poetic evocation of a place and marks the dispersion of a society from its home, its place of origin. It is the result of research, interviews and several trips that I made to southern Morocco starting in 1981 that culminated in a series of videos, photographs and drawings. For this presentation I have chosen a series of videos and photographs that focus on Amzrou.
“Amzrou is a kasbah in the Draa valley, at the edge of the Sahara desert in southern Morocco. For over 2,500 years it was the home of a large Jewish community, who lived for centuries in harmony with the local Berber tribes. Today, members of the Draouis tribe are the sole occupants of the kasbah and occupy the homes in the mellah, the former Jewish quarter in Moroccan cities.
“The synagogue is located at 8 mellah, in the heart of the quarter. It was constructed approximately 800 years ago, and was abandoned when the Jews left. Local Draouis families used it as an oven for cooking and baking, hence the ash-black color stained on the walls and ground. Today, a guardian, Mbark, will open the door for visitors for a sum of money. Since the last remaining families emigrated in 1958, memories of this community are now preserved by the elderly, and by the spaces they once occupied.”