country door windows Bady
A country without a door or windows by Bady Dalloul
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The Third Line presents A country without a door or windows, Franco-Syrian artist Bady Dalloul’s solo exhibition. In the exhibition, one can have a look at the artist’s eponymous collection of 200 miniature drawings framed in pocket matchboxes, which was created from 2016 to 2019. The show will run through 21 July 2023.

The drawings from the A country without a door or windows series depict scenes of everyday life in the Syrian war; they piece together the war’s scattered chronicle, while interweaving the reality (historical facts) with imagination. “At first, these tiny pictures were inspired by my boyhood interest in collecting stamps, and depicted normal, quotidian scenes,” says Dalloul. “But as the violence grew in Syria, so too it grew in these pictures. […] [Drawing them like this] was a way of taking control of them, digesting them and arranging them in a way that forces others to see, digest and understand them too.”

Bady Dalloul, CHINA SHOP, 2015. Installation. Table of wood, porcelain and melanin, inkjet printing, dust. 3 x 0.80 m.

About the artist

Bady Dalloul (b. 1986, Paris, France) is a multidisciplinary Franco-Syrian artist who resides in Paris; his parents are the artists Ziad Dalloul and Laila Muraywid. In 2015, he graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. In 2017, the artist received the Prize for Contemporary Arab Creation from the Friends of the Institute of the Arab World. In the same year, he was nominated for the Prix découverte des Amis du Palais de Tokyo. In 2018, Dalloul was awarded the Prix des Amis de l’IMA.

Bady Dalloul, Badland, Vol. IV, 1999-2004. Writing, drawing, and collage on paper.

Dalloul’s art practice involves video, performance, drawing, writing, and using found objects. In his documentary-like, meticulous research-style works, he intertwines historical events, personal facts, and fiction while exploring political, sociological, and historical themes. Being fascinated by the games that governments play, often with people as their pawns, the artist reflects on territorial demarcations, his own legacy, and global immigration issues.

His work is deeply inspired by creating fictional countries, which is rooted in his childhood. He and his brother used to spend summers at their grandparents’ house in Damascus, and when they got bored there, to entertain themselves, they imagined that they were the kings of their own fictional countries. This game became a way for the boys to process the daily life around them impacted by political events of the time.

Bady Dalloul, THE KING OF THE SYSTEM III, 2019. Ink on bone and collage on old gaming board. 17.3 x 14.9 x 2 inches.

Dalloul has his artworks displayed at various art institutions and galleries, including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (the show Our world is burning, 2020); IVAM, Valencia, Spain (the show Orientalisms, 2020); Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2019); the Arab World Institute, Paris (2018); the Gulbenkian Foundation (2018); the MAC/VAL Museum (2017); Untilthen Gallery, Paris (2016); Alexandra de Viveiros Gallery, Paris (2016); l’ENSBA de Paris, Paris (2015); and others.

His works can be found in the permanent collections of the MAC/VAL Museum (France); the Frac / le Plateau, the Frac Champagne Ardenne (France); the Darat al Funun (Jordan); the Institut du Monde Arabe (France); the Kadist Art Foundation (France); and the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) (Qatar).

To learn more about A country without a door or windows, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting Perpetual Identities by Katya A. Traboulsi.