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Opening Ali Talib, Love and death,

14. 10. 2003- Den Haag
By: Ingrid Rollema*

If I talk about art I will always emphasise that there are two components governing the field of art. In its essence arts always deals with life and death on one side, and love and hate on the other. All the other themes in art are deduced from these four components.

Ali made the essence of art in the same time his subject.
The two words, love and death are used in many ways. And all of us use our own connotation. If you use the word love and if you use the word death you see in the mirror of your soul something complete different than every one around you.
Nothing as personal as your own feeling of love, nothing as personal as using the word death in relation to your fear and personal losses.

What I feel in these paintings is that Ali Talib transformed his feelings of love and death in a very personal way by avoiding being personal. He transformed in the same painting the feeling of love to an abstraction that invites us to step into the painting.

In every painting you see how venerable live is. But in the confrontation with death there is always a transformation to another kind of existence.

Love is the energy that keeps us going and prevents us from dying.
By playing with love in the way you do, you are confronted with the awareness that you cannot die, you can only transform.

For me in very sensitive way Ali with the premises that love and dead are continues story. We can not escape and we can not win but we can fight goes and on. We can not escape and we can not win but we can loose. The only given thing is that we cannot stop being part of the game. You come back again, transformed and transparent and then again you start. You find something and you loose. Defenceless that is how I consider myself as I look to your paintings and that brings in my mind the philosophy of Edward Said who passed away some weeks ago.
If I look at your painting I feel myself confronted with the knowledge that haven and hell are in this word, here and now. It is totally by surprise that you find something good it is also it is totally by surprise if you are caught by black evil. Evil is not easy or superficial because there is a system, there is background and knowledge. All the paintings you see here can bring you back to old knowledge, ancient myth and believes. In every dimension we have the confrontation of love and death. Old times with the same issue, the same condition, the same very old respected rhythm for love and death.
But after you have stepped into the painting you start thinking. After you have seen the paintings you are part of the secret. Whatever you may do after, you know, you are involved, you’re not innocent anymore. And because of not being innocent you are responsible. In a very clever and sensitive way this paintings makes you part of what is going on, in the painting you can find the possible backgrounds.

These paintings tell me that in the end we are defenceless. The language of the paintings informs me that we are equal as humans but it reminds me that we are not equal in the game, and that makes me feel responsible.

Ali, thank you for your work and all your effort. We are proud to have you and your friends here as our guests. I like to give you some thing personal because I like to recognise you if I see you in another place in another time with another appearance in another world as another creature.

* Artist , Director Academy of Visual Arts- The Hague, The Nederlands