Kowal+Odermatt Projects is very pleased to present a group exhibition, titled Escape, curated by Colombe de La Taille and Amandine Lepoutre, showcasing the work of Lara Baladi, Lucie & Simon, Youssef Nabil, Anahita Razmi, Rero with Liu Bolin and Marc Turlan.

This group exhibition has been especially conceived for the occasion of ArtBasel Miami Beach.The exhibition is a continuation of L’Echappée Belle, a group exhibition by the collective of artists AhAhAh!,which has been originally presented at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, from June 11-21, 2013. The name AhAhAh! is essentially to be understood as a pun, a word play which is derived from the grade “AAA” in the internationally recognized system by credit rating agencies, thus representing the highest attainable credit score of corporate, or government bonds, when assessing their credit worthiness. AhAhAh! understands itself to be an association of artists, fostering innovation, optimism, and audacity, as means to combat what is commonly described as “the crisis”, an abbreviation of what generally has been termed the “Financial Crisis of 2007-08”. This is achieved internationally, through an array of forms, such as exhibitions, conferences, interventions, and artist publications, and meant to be an escape from mankind’s current economic and financial dilemma.

Lara Baladi (born 1969 in Beirut, Lebanon) is examining archetypes in historical processes, taking the recent uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir Place as an example to show how individuals in a concerted manner are claiming freedom from oppressively autocratic political regimes. Baladi has shown internationally, and her work has most recently been included in the 8th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and at Fondation Cartier, Paris, France.

The photographs and videos of Lucie & Simon (born 1981 in Saint-Etienne, France, and 1986 in Paris, France) with their eerie quality, are forcing the viewer to re-assess reality. Using the stylistic tool of the déjà-vu as a reference to nature, their works ultimately belie any notion of actualities, thus leaving it to the viewer to define the ultimate truth. Their work has been shown at the Museum of Photography, Antwerp, Belgium, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece, as well as the Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, Paris, France.

Youssef Nabil (born 1972 in Cairo, Egypt) is a creator of allegories, whose videos have strong political and societal connotations. Inspired by the golden age of the so-called Cinema of Egypt of the 1940s and 1950s, Nabil’s movie stars, often shown in solemnity, relive moments recounting Egyptian life of the good old days. An intense sense of longing and nostalgia pervade his movies, thus leading the viewer to reassess what is dream and reality. Nabil’s work has been shown at the Villa Medici, Rome, Italy, The Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, Georgia, USA, as well as at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France.

Performance and video artist Anahita Razmi’s (born 1981 in Hamburg, Germany) re-enactments are social, political, and cultural associations, in which Razmi questions general semantics, often perceived to be commonplace by a Western audience. Often taking her father’s birthplace Iran as a point of departure, values of images and objects are taken out of a Western context and the viewer is asked to re-evaluate their meaning as they are presented in front of a different backdrop. Razmi’s work has been shown at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, USA, and most recently at the Venetian Pavillion at the 55th Venice Biennial.

Rero (born 1983 in France), in his collaborative work with Liu Bolin (born 1973 in Shandon Province, China), continues his so-called “negation of the image”. Having originally started out as a graffiti artist, he is reassessing images through typography, achieving this negation of the image by crossing single words or entire phrases out with a pronounced, horizontal line in black color. Originally having used the exterior walls of dilapidated buildings as a surface, he collaborates with Liu Bolin by incorporating him physically into his work, as he uses a clothed Bolin as his partial surface on which to paint. Rero’s typography in conjunction with Bolin’s camouflage convey immediacy with regards to fundamental civil rights of any human being.

Rero has shown at Fabien Castanier Gallery, Los Angeles, and most recently at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France. Liu Bolin has shown at Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, Russian, Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, as well as Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing, China.

The work of Marc Turlan (born 1969 in France) is may be understood as an extended, admonitory mouthpiece of a general public and it’s manifold concerns regarding every-day life. With the media and it’s effect on ordinary citizen being his primary concern, Turlan reminds us of the parallel universe, media outlets create, thus leaving us with an inherent feeling of fear by creating supposed threats which may not exist as presented, or are much more complex than the surface value which is created by modern-day journalism. Turlan’s work has been shown at Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, and Grand Palais, Paris, France.