Sound Barrier, Schöppingen 1996

Témoigner, Mathias Flügge (german)
Le sommeil de la raison, Joseph Tarrab (german)
Victims in the Shadow of Account – A Story Behind the Pictures of Salah Saouli, Harald Friecke
Nur ein Hauch von Verlust, Katrin Bettina Müller
The Way We’ve Always Done Before, Michael Wollenheit
Energetic Depots – On the New Works of Salah Saouli, Stefan Rasche (german)
Some say that writing poetry is impossible after Auschwitz, Wilhelm Gauger
Wir wollen wieder gesehen werden und euch sehen können, Wilhelm Gauger
Le mot secret, Abbas Beydoun
Obsession by Salah Saouli,
Heleen Buijs
Supperpositions, Reiner Höynck (german)
Das Labyrinth, Stefan Rasche

Stefan Rasche

"Energetic Depots – On the New Works of Salah Saouli”

Filled with individual experiences and collective images, memory is a repository of disparate, unsorted data, an arena of changing perspectives and alliances. To activate it beyond its own structure, to give it a surface or a volume in order to grasp equally the definiteand the indefinite,visibleandinvisible,isatthecenterofSalahSaouli’sartisticinterest.Withthe obsession of an archaeologist he has over the past several years collected photographs, texts and other documents, to incorporate them into his multimedial objects and installations as fragmented material – often at the brink of legibility. Printed on flagsorhousedinshrine-likeencasings, mounted on the wall, arranged in display cabinets or staged in spacious labyrinths, these remains, which have been recovered and reproduced complement one another across the individual works to comprise a visual depot which– complete with cracks and gaps, as well as thematic repetitions – is repeatedly excerpted and combined anew. Salah Saouli prefers to work with complex montages and multidimensional overlappings, with ways of focusing and renewed diffusion, to lend his material energetic form and associative significancewithoutforegroundingits origin or historical places and times. In particular, it is the effects of war on people and cities that Salah Saouli has invoked as images of recollection, by using images of destroyed buildings or photos of missing persons. In the exhibition in Schöppingen he has developed this theme, and found new forms of presentation. He taps into the recent history of Münster, for example, in his use of the jet fighter:thecommunitytherehasbeenharassedforyearsbylow-flyingjetsfrom a nearby NATO air base. Inspired by and yet detached from this specificcontexttheartistunderlines the image of the military machine in its traumatizing effects by printing its silhouette hundreds of times onto transparent panels, which are then installed like a squadron across the expanse of a wall or into the entire exhibition space. Airplanes and other motifs also filldrawersto overflowing,whichSaoulihashungfromtheceilingorgroupedontheflooraslightboxes.Here the repository of diverse memorabilia functions as a metaphor for the structures of memory. The more kinetic works of the artist possess a similar referential quality, as they set images in motion with the help of propellers or projectors, allowing them to appear and disappear. Each of the motifs, for instance a coat of arms or a medieval torture scene, a holy figureoragainanapproaching airplane, can only be deciphered as a fragment, as a fleetingsilhouette–butitistheir momentum that guarantees the integrity of the images that the artist intends. In this way, Salah Saouli transcends the actual display to bring what seems to be past through recognition and reconsideration to an immediate presence and contemporary meaning.

Salah Saouli in Schöppingen, Catalogue 1996from German by Alisa kotmair

© salah saouli