Nisrine Boukhari- What you've been told is simulacra of simulacra

When life becomes a map of simulacra of what we have lost all relation with reality, an archive of disappearance, an imitated model, reality no longer exists in a world dominated by appearances but by what used to be known as reality. In this talk Boukhari will discuss how as an artist she is trying to understand a conflict she is living and experiencing amidst the contradictions of the given information of this conflict. From an artistic point of view, Boukhari is working to use her knowledge and experience on the current war in Syria and intersecting it with past historical events. Based on her artistic practice and her research on “Wanderism is a State of Mind”, Boukhari will present part of her long term video project “A Letter Between Two Cities” as an example of narrating and reading history of conflict through conceptual and poetic writing by overlapping stories of conflict between two cities, where Damascus is always one of the cities, and the others are where the artist is moving around the world.

Nisrine Boukhari is a conceptual artist, living currently between Vienna & Stockholm. In her art based research projects, she uses concepts of psychogeography (the study of the laws and specifics effects of the geographical environment on the emotions and behaviour of individuals) to explore our relationship to inner and domestic spaces. Principles of 'colour and light therapy' often underline the interactive nature of her installations. With a characteristic economy of means (her work often builds on the recurrence of mundane objects, such as ropes, post-it notes or sheets of copier paper), Boukhari creates sensorial and participatory installations which engage the body as well as the mind. Despite the focus on the body and space, language is playing an essential role in her work, and drawing the audience into implication with it. Like the body, language is both personal and the basic prevalence of public relations. Since 2012, Boukhari is working on her art based research project on the concept of “Mind Wandering” where she has coined the term “Wanderism” and announced it as “State of Mind”. This research project investigates the term “Wanderism”, which refers to a state of mind. Wanderism is based on the psychological aspect of Mind Wander that is caused by trauma, psychological and/or social obstacles, conflict, or war. It addresses the concept of the new becoming: the in between state where the bewildered point (X), between (A) and (B), goes beyond an assigned value. The concept is approached using an artistic practice and by implementing it as a form of fragmented narrations. Conceptual writing and spatial narrating within the practice reveal artistic research and provide a deep insight on the Syrian conflict from a socio-political and artistic perspective. Nisrine Boukhari (b. 1980) studied Sculpture in the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus University, finished her M.A. in Social Design at Angewandte Kunst Wien (University of Applied Arts Vienna) where she also spent two years researching as PhD student 2015/16. She is pursuing her art based research internationally where she had artist residency at Iaspis/Sweden, Trapholt Museum/ Denmark, MAWA art residency Winnipeg/Canada, NKDALE art center Norway, Art Omi in NYC, and many other residencies. She exhibited her work internationally and locally. Beside her artistic career Boukhari is a co-founder for AllArtNow, the first independent contemporary art organization in Damascus since 2005.