The exhibitions Urgent Conversations: Athens–Antwerp and Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens are a collaboration between EMST and M HKA, a theoretical and visual dialogue, based on works from the collections of both museums, which includes more than 70 works structured in 22 topics.   

28.04.2017 - 07.01.2018        

M HKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen - Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen

EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art - Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi Str., Athens 11743

Urgent Conversations Athens - Antwerp

(c)image: M HKA
Minus Two, 2006
Photography , 120 x 122 cm
cibachroom, aluminium, plexiglas

This photograph belongs to the series Black-Out made by photographer Charif Benhelima. These pictures are all polaroids. The white fog into which the images in this series seem to disappear, is a direct result of the use of this medium: Benhelima prolongs the camera’s shutter speed so that the film is exposed to light longer than usual, and the resulting image is then still just barely recognizable. In this way only the clearest forms and contours remain visible. In this series Benhelima has us reflect upon the visual essence of the things around us. What are the limits of formal lines in terms of conveying meaning? But it is not only the physical aspects of an object that create meaning, the viewer as well is responsible for its observation and interpretation. It is this subjective relationship between people and their surroundings, between spectator and image, that is called into question in Black-Out. These questions concerning the autonomy of an object and the relationship of man to his environment illustrate a recurring concern that runs throughout the work of Benhelima.