B R O W NR E V I E W (2018)

*As of January 2019 Brown Review will only exist in print, disseminated by POST and word of mouth as part of Arrangements project which will launch at pallas projects dublin, November 2019.









RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, Bassam Al-Sabah’s art bleeds best among five other bleeders at the RHA Gallery. Not the red stuff that pulses through our veins, but the other abstract stuff, made of feelings and tears but lacking a coagulant to stopper the outpouring. The past—that thing that clings for dear life in anticipation of being forgotten—bubbles under the sincere synth, here and now. We are our memories someone said. Dream, memory, mirage, a dawdling camera tracks through a digital landscape-segue-architecture that's neither homely nor stained by life, experience, irony or joy. It's an oxymoronic fake home, filled with absence and longing. It appears on the horizon as quick as it folds away 12-minutes later, like that suitcase that sat big and sad at the front door before they left. With the prefab thickness of a house of cards we are carried like a child through this anorexic architecture that, outside, has no companion or landmark to orientate or objectify it in this fake world. Weightless….. we are lost, or at a loss, to locate this place, this dream, this desire, traveling alongside our own world in some liquid parallel reality, just out of reach and touch, but palpably close, the way family still feels close thousands of miles away as memory embeds in identity embeds in injury embeds in “eachudder” as my five-year-old son says. This is a home eternally lost and found. Loopy. All sun and shimmer and angles, this fake architecture of appliances that cry abject forms, pour angles, wriggle curves and spout clotted nightmares is being flattened by the language of sadness, sadness over lost objects, flesh and not flesh, as a pyre of photographs burn so as not to bear the memory, the loss, the stillness of witnessing. Silly simulacrums can make you cry. We cannot like this home, locate this home, impress our selves upon this home. “Home”, that repetitive receptacle, empty and hollow, but laying in waiting to marry our dreams and desires across the threshold, bears witness to the eulogy of memory and time, where and when representation never lives up to life, but elongates the disparity between life and representation, a vast inequality. This is a digital carcass “Dear Bassam” has spent time fabricating from the whorls of his fingertips, click, click, click. It is neither our home nor his home, no matter how many times he clicks “Home”  “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home” “Home”


Through 19 December.

so far…