Narges Mohammadi, Passing Traces, 2020–2024 / Courtesy of the artist and Copperfield, London / Photo Io Sivertsen
Imagine Home
Feb 3 – Jun 2, 2024
Het Noordbrabants Museum
's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Home is more than the four walls around you. It’s the scent of soap, the taste of your favourite dish, the sound of the wall clock ticking away. A feeling of safety, happiness, and sometimes of pain and melancholy. What does ‘home’ mean if you’ve been forcibly displaced? If it isn’t a physical place, or the belongings in it, where exactly can you find that feeling of being home? And how do you keep that feeling alive when you no longer have a home?

In the exhibition Imagine Home, 13 leading artists from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Ukraine, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the Netherlands show their experiences of displacement. For example, Afghan artist Narges Mohammadi created a narrow, corridor-like space for her installation Passing Traces, which she filled with 700 kilos of Persian halva – an Afghan delicacy. These are sweet memories, which also taste of loss. There is also the work of Stéphanie Saadé, a refugee from Lebanon who reworks objects such as a children’s blanket to reflect personal events from her life.

Imagine Home brings together a careful selection of existing and newly produced artworks, ranging from photographs (Eliza Bordeaux), videos (Manon de Boer), paintings (Raafat Ballan), and drawings (Foundland Collective) to sculptures (Lucas Lenglet) and installations (Zhanna Kadyrova). A swing that captures the shifting sense of ‘home’ (Ines Kooli), a support beam coated with clove powder that doubles as a tissue box (Jerrold Saija), a ‘skin’ depicting an ancestral home (Heidi Bucher), the pantry of displaced people (Mirna Bamieh): artworks that awaken your senses, scents and images that evoke a sense of home, installations that captivate and enthral.

Imagine Home is an invitation not only to look, but also to share. An important part of the exhibition is The Living Room, a place to engage in conversation about what ‘home’ means. The brainchild of Palestinian architect Sandi Hilal, this public living room is a meeting place that turns the tables and lets displaced people become the host. Please come along for a chat and grab a drink and a bite to eat. In this space you can also leave your own thoughts about the themes from the exhibition.

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