Nour Bishouty: Nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had

Nour Bishouty: Nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had

SAVAC Co-produced with
Gallery 44

This exhibition, Nour Bishouty’s first solo show in Toronto, centres on an oil painting made by her late father, Ghassan Bishouty, in Amman in the early 1980s. Nour is no stranger to her late father’s work, returning to it consistently over the years, posing questions around cultural value, personal and artistic legacies. This time, the artist takes Al-Wadi, an orientalist-style painting of a Bedouin landscape in Jordan as a point of departure to explore unregulated systems of mapping and legibility. In Nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had, the artist engages in a process of intentional obscurity with the painting to consider the idea of misunderstanding as a productive lens—intertwining and unfolding objects, images and ways of seeing. Replication, expansion, extrapolation and modification are used as interventions to redirect our lines of inquiry into unchartered horizons.
By suggesting spectres of absence and presence, the exhibition troubles our assumptions of awaited resolution or structured narration. The title of the show is borrowed from Gertrude Stein’s essay ‘Composition as Explanation’ which explores the “prolonged” and “continuous” presents in the structure of compositions. By proposing or suggesting new lenses through which to read the painting, Nour’s work extends its temporal register and simultaneously questions the stakes involved when re-orienting and re-settling it into contemporary contexts.

Exhibition Public Program | A conversation with Nour Bishouty, Monica Basbous, and Jumana Manna
Saturday, Feb 26th 11am EST Toronto / 5PM CET Berlin / 6PM Beirut
In Nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had, Nour Bishouty explores questions around land, indigeneity, and history while questioning the desire for knowledge as a colonial impulse. Bishouty’s work impresses counter-gestures embodied in a poetic practice of extracting, exposing, providing, and withholding information. The artist has invited Jumana Manna and Monica Basbous to engage in a conversation elaborating on those questions and others related to their respective artistic practice.