Spring Exhibition at Cac Passerelle

Alia Farid. Elsewhere

 Alia Farid, Elsewhere, 2024 © photo : Aurélien Mole

Alia Farid, Elsewhere, 2024 © photo : Aurélien Mole

Elsewhere is a new commission and the first institutional solo exhibition in the UK by Alia Farid. Working in film, sculpture, and textile, Farid traces histories often marginalised or obscured by the Global North. In her artworks, communities, local practices, and traditions are reconsidered, giving the rhythms of everyday life political significance and potency.

Sixteen hand-woven and embroidered rugs are installed in the ground floor of Passerelle. Drawing from photographs, archival material, and interviews with local people, the works detail cityscapes – buildings, shop fronts, and adverts – that conjure the presence of the Palestinian diaspora in Puerto Rico (USA). Pharmacies and restaurants, owned and operated by Palestinians, are woven alongside brightly coloured mosques and a menu detailing ‘Arabic cuisine’.

The result of a close collaboration with weavers in Samawa, in southern Iraq, the textiles have been crafted through a combination of flat weaving and chain stitching specific to the region. Architecture, script (Arabic and Spanish) and traditional woven motifs recur throughout, illuminating how migration from one region in the Global South to another, brings forth new meanings, forms, and expressions of shared struggle and solidarity. Hanging in many parallel rows, the installation creates panoramic views, and a layering of lived history and daily routine.

Elsewhere is a growing material archive that traces the ways styles, symbols, rituals, and other social devices coalesce across continents. It is the first chapter of an ongoing research project, initially conceived in 2013, which maps Arab and South Asian migration to Latin America and the Caribbean. Other sites of investigation include Trinidad, Cuba, and Mexico. In this accumulative and iterative process, Elsewhere marks one crossroads on an intricate map.

As a counterpoint to this new installation, the Chibayish films series from 2022 and 2023 are also being shown, evoking the impact of the oil industries in particular on the social and ecological fabric of southern Iraq and Kuwait. Chibayish follows young marsh inhabitants as they introduce their homeland and its communities. The result is a stunning portrait of a natural landscape shaped as much by intimate, communal ways of life as by war, resource extraction, and industrialisation.

Alia Farid, Elsewhere, 2024 © photo : Aurélien Mole

Atelier Magma. Pour des lieux de productions artistiques

Passerelle has invited Atelier Magma to put on a unique joint exhibition. Atelier Magma is an association created in 2023 by and for a group of artists and designers from Brest and Finistère. The objective is to bring together artists from the local area to experience and manage a collaborative workspace. And for a very good reason, as times of sharing, meeting and reflecting stimulate creativity and promote the cross-fertilisation of practices. The need to do this was obvious: you had to get together in order to exist and create.

So this group has no particular coherence or common artistic practice. The people in the group know each other partly from an experience at the former Cercle Naval in Brest – the city of Brest kindly made available artists’ workshops in 2021 for local artists who responded to a call for projects – and partly from the emergence of the Art Schools of Brittany, in particular the Brest site of the European Academy of Art in Brittany. The members of Atelier Magma have never exhibited together and for some of them this is their first opportunity to show their works in the setting of a contemporary art centre.

The exhibition brings together 17 artists or collectives as members of Magma. Although the body of work varies hugely, one theme may be perceived: notions of traces and memory. “What remains of a collaboration between artists and the inhabitants of a place? Which moments of life should be preserved and in what forms? Which reality should we safeguard or modify?” are all questions demanding to be answered when you visit the exhibition. Through the clues and propositions offered by many of these artists, an important and implicit questioning gradually emerges: what is the place of the artist in our current society that is so polarised?

 Atelier Magma, 2024 © photo : Aurélien Mole

 Naomi Daviaud  © photo : Aurélien Mole

Margaux Germain © photo : Aurélien Mole

Ondine Bertin. MojennLab

 Ondine Bertin, MojennLab, 2024 – Les Chantiers Résidencde – © photo : Aurélien Mole

Ondine Bertin, MojennLab, 2024 – Les Chantiers Résidencde – © photo : Aurélien Mole

Ondine Bertin, MojennLab, 2024 – Les Chantiers Résidencde – © photo : Aurélien Mole

‘Passerelle announces a ground-breaking collaboration with MojennLab, an avant-garde Breton start-up specialising in the creation of ancient and modern legends and optimising the tourist offer. This unique alliance between the art centre and the creative originality of the start-up marks an exciting new venture in the world of contemporary art. MojennLab is recognised for its ability to transcend the limits of the imagination and has joined forces with Passerelle to produce an exhibition that redefines the norms of creativity. The MojennLab combines history and narrative to create unique and unforgettable experiences. MojennLab offers local communities packages of myths tailor-made for each area: dragons, UFOs, brain-eating zombies or reincarnations of Joan of Arc or Charles Martel.

Loïc Le Gall, Director of Passerelle, talks with enthusiasm of this exceptional collaboration: “Passerelle has always been devoted to celebrating art in all its forms. By joining with MojennLab, we have the opportunity to push back the limits of our commitment to artistic innovation and entrepreneurship and present our audience with an incredible artistic experience.” The co-founder of MojennLab, Guildern Le Guenec’h, is delighted with this visibility: “To have the chance to show what we are capable of in an art centre such as La Passerelle demonstrates the original and international ambition of MojennLab. We are here to design the tourism of tomorrow and I am sure that art can help us in some way.”’