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Fatine-Violette Sabiri

At last

04. 11. - 06. 11. 2020

This exhibition was created as part of the artists in residence program hosted by artist-run initiative Petrohradska kolektiv.

On your way to work or from work, you can check out the outdoor site-specific show of Grotta artificial cave, located at the Havlíčkovy sady park, Prague 10 (but of course just as long you follow the covid restrictive rules set by our government).

Outdoor exhibition at Grotta

I had this itch to besiege myself with my own intimacy. It turns out I relish in it. Laughing with no one else in this empty room, behind the scenes of my own wink, I think:

Alone at last! This is also what I think as I approach the grotto. It envelops me like a warm murmur, it envelops me like the exiguous space that makes me safe when I play hide-and-seek. This feeling is one of my brother and I’s favourite conversations.

Alone at last! Here each sound is a secret, and I want to share mine out loud for the thrill of being understood. At last, never alone: I meet myself with the familiar excitement of meeting an old friend.

In At last, Fatine-Violette Sabiri investigates the possibilities for intimacy within the desire for reclusion. The capacity to cultivate a dialogue within oneself is at the heart of her collection of works displayed in the Havlíček Gardens’ grotto. This self-exploration is also paired, nevertheless, with the constant longing to share and to be understood, no matter the state of one’s own self-reliance. Using selected diary entries and displaying them directly and deliberately, Sabiri’s work ponders upon the idea of confidences made in a context of remoteness, and cherishes the potential of an intimate conversation with a stranger. At last is a quest for an autonomy that constantly seeks to balance self-criticism and discipline with empathy and humour, and is a pursuit for the thrill of connection.

It makes me think of what Nounou was telling me the other day: Apparently, Sam found underground access to a grotto that leads directly to the seashore. It is like a minuscule and secret cove, surrounded and hidden by rocks. He can swim in the ocean at night, and stay by the seaside during the day without being seen by the gendarmes while they patrol the beach.

I think my desire to have this conversation does not come from wantinghonest answers (he wouldn’t be able to give me any...) but rather from the need to have a thrill, some kind of excitement provided by the idea of an intimate conversation in the context of a relationship that is no longer intimate

I did not want to look back at her, I think I was afraid of being seen. As if I was trying to make myself invisible, to shield myself. Who would’veguessed! A cave in which one cannot enter,

photo by Maximilian Vajt

Petrohradská kolektiv Residency Project is supported in 2020 by the Ministry of Culture Czech Republic, the State Fund of Culture of the Czech Republic and the City District of Prague 10.