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Salim Currimjee’s Exhibition “Solus”

14.09.2013


Salim Currimjee’s exhibition takes place in the temporary space of the gutted ex-Hertzog building near the Port Louis Bazaar, and the height and roughness of the lieu gives a very special space to the two huge main works, one at each end of the langar. So, there is this unified experience when you go in, between the architectural space and the creations in it. Very Salim Currimjee. Other smaller tableaux are “around the only corner”, so to speak, in the hall, taking up a more private space.
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But even the public space has something private on display. A diary.
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The huge work on the left as you go in is a whole year (2012-2013), day-by-day, in the life of the artist. A private view. And you see the whole year in one glance first. Nothing sequential, but “all at once”. The entire work, which consists of 12 one-month diaries or planners, is layed out over a space of about five metres wide by four metres high, so you get bowled over by the “all at once” experience. Just as you have difficulty keeping all 365 days of your own past year in your head, all at the same time. The days are then laid out, month by separate month, just like a home-made planner that some LALIT members make for themselves each year. A painting a day, about the size of A4 landscape paper. Each a gem.
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“Time” is usually seen as a metaphor of “space” in the West. You count days as if they were jars in a row. But Salim Currimjee has “space” giving the rejoinder, making itself, “space” a metaphor of “time”.
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The whole is both playful and beautiful. And at another level, it brings a strange meeting between the idea of “an artist”, making a grand, immense statement, and yet, at the same time, telling the tiny, more humble truths of an artist’s ordinary daily “domesticity”.
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Around the corner, one of the pieces is a four-bit painting, very strong. Small. Concentrated. Intense. Perhaps an emotional accident. Reds and blacks, smudges, tiny window and door of hope disappearing. Like something coming back into your mind, in slightly different bits, however much you push it aside.
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Do not miss this exhibition. It is ephemeral. But will live on in your memory if you visit it. Open until 19 September, in Sir William Newton St at the level of the Bazaar.
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The vernissage, by the way, was one of those rare, calm, uncompetitive, Mauritian meetings of people quite literally from all walks of life. But who share a love of art or the artist or both. So, there were musicians, people in film, writers, family and friends.

Lindsey Collen