Fragments of text, digital, 2020
As if an itinerant geographer of conflicted territories (most everywhere), Salloum observes the world and creates/collects images/texts to make meaning/reflections from. Since arriving here - by no means of his own volition - he tries to go only where he is invited or where there is an intrinsic affinity, his projects being rooted in an intimate engagement with place. A grandson of Syrian or Lebanese immigrants he was born and raised on others’ land, the Sylix (Okanagan) territory. After 21 years living and working elsewheres he planted himself on the unceded stolen lands of the Xʷməθkʷey̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh + Səíl̓wətaʔł. Recognizing and acting on this is an everyday practice, but let’s face it, he could do a lot more. In this context - not that it really matters, Salloum has lectured and published pervasively and exhibited peripatetically at the widest range of local and international venues possible and most improbable, from the smallest unnamed storefronts in his downtown eastside Vancouver neighbourhood to institutions such as the Musée du Louvre, Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, National Gallery of Canada, Bienal De La Havana, Sharjah Biennial, Biennale of Sydney and the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
In and out of quarantine time pondering how to tackle the point that we find ourselves in now and the unforeseeable future and the politics of fear, regression, pain, promise and hope that surround me. I’ve started and stopped several stabs at things, your message comes at an opportune albeit heavily pressurized time. I don’t produce work upon such short notice, with a short time frame, usually labouring over projects for years, trying to produce something resonant. Nevertheless I am interested in trying to think this through into something useful. Your enthusiasm is convincing and breaks my indeterminate ennui. I had started collecting fragments of text, correspondence with others and writing bits and pieces since I got back here (literally from the jungle) so am making it somewhat of a daily practice. It’ll be a sutured manifesto disguised as poetic ramblings and rants out into the void.
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