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Home TAGPress Tunisie Tunisia’s Centre National d’Art Vivant On the Road To Democratization

Tunisia’s Centre National d’Art Vivant On the Road To Democratization

Jeliti-Sculpture-2Despite its lack of resources and previous static activity rate, the Centre National d’Art Vivant (CNAV) in Tunis has started to reaffirm its place on the contemporary Tunisian map of art galleries and cultural institutions.

Inside the “Garden village” space, renowned artist Jeliti Mohsen currently shows the eternal universality of his sculptures, which are breathing life into the dusty, closed place, as well as allowing outside installations to interact with the center’s open nature space.

“Long Live Sculpture” exhibition is the artist’s visionary “response to the post-revolutionary Islamic social threat through a cultural revolution,”as claimed by the artist.

The artist recycles tarnished objects that he collects from the streets, reincarnating them and trying to give them visionary significances within Tunisia’s current socio-political climate. His sculptures look abstract, mythical and futuristic, however, when the viewers pay a closer attention to the details, they become aware of the close ties to specific contemporary political or religious events.

Unlike private galleries in Tunisia, the specificity of governmentally-sponsored institutions is that they shape the relationship between artists and the Ministry of Culture on the one hand, and introduce art to society in a more accessible and educative way on the other.  The center’s main mission is to, “democratize art by initiating the bigger public.”

Located in the heart of Tunis, the center overlooks the picturesque scenery of Belvedère’s gardens and radiant lake, giving the visitor an opportunity to escape the city fumes and take a delightful journey to discover art. Its downtown location is also strategic, because it is accessible and friendly for a wider public that wouldn’t necessarily approach the more prestigious, inaccessible, and further art galleries of Sidi Bou Said and La Marsa. The common Tunisian middle class family would find in this cultural space a complementary educational mind-booster to the close-by animal zoo and children playgrounds.

This cultural center encompasses a library space that includes rare books about Islamic and Roman Art, an outside garden where the public can read, sit, relax and calmly enjoy nature, a main exhibition hall, as well as a the “garden village” – an alternative space for exhibitions with a more underground feeling. There is something for everyone’s taste.

Sana Tamzini,the center’s director, is a well-established Tunisian artist. Tamzini’s enthusiasm to enrich the Tunisian art scene and especially to promote young artists has translated into making a rich agenda for the center that features dynamic and engaging exhibitions with interesting themes, such the recent exhibitions “Politics”, “Subjected to”, and “Art Without Borders” that have attracted much public attention and sparked debate.

“I believe that the center’s role is not merely to promote young artistic talent, but also to mount engaging exhibitions that interlace different art mediums such as sculptures, videos, installations and paintings,” claimed director Tamzini.

On the program are also workshops, film projections, conferences, and debates, that will bring local as well as foreign experts from the art field to raise important questions about culture. Tamzini stressed the importance of generating diverse dialogues between the artist and the public through art exhibitions and cultural exchanges. However, managing an institution that is funded by the government is limiting, and sometimes discouraging for the director’s ambitions.

“I am constantly pushing the boundaries of the constrained and elitist circle of Tunisia’s art scene, proposing different and varied programs. Yet the slow pace of governmental bureaucracies and lack of expertise about art hinders the concretization of my agenda, and it is very overwhelming to do all this work by myself.”

Ikram Lakhdhar - 08 June 2012

Source : tunisia-live.net

 

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