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ZouZou Group

– door open –

15 June — 21 June 2020

For Refugee Week 2020, Ikon is digitally screening – door open – (2014–2019), a film by ZouZou Group, comprising two anonymous artists, one Syrian from Damascus, the other British, living in England. Their ongoing dialogue, made possible (and frequently impossible) through online messaging and filesharing mobile phone video footage, exposes the constraints and imbalances of working together across the boundary of a war zone and longstanding military dictatorship. Ikon is showing two different versions of the film, demonstrating the mutability and contingency built into ZouZou Group’s production and display

Read reviews: this is tomorrow, Third Text

The End of the Sky
When Conflict becomes Collaborative Form

By Anthony Downey, Professor of Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East, Birmingham City University

The professional and personal politics of collaborating on an art project are fraught with practical concerns and repressed disagreements. This is the dual nature of collaboration: it gives artists an insight into their work through the prism of someone else’s practice, but it can also prove testing when it comes to surmounting the challenges of shared authorship and agency. Different ways of working and everyday obstacles to communication also tend to compound, if not inflate, any problems associated with collaborative processes. What if, however, these impediments were productively employed to determine the overall enquiry and final form of an artwork? And what if one half of a collaborative duo continued to live in Syria under conditions of civil, political and national emergency? It is precisely this conundrum, alongside other more personal apprehensions, that underwrites and impels the content and overall form of – door open – (2019), a work by ZouZou Group, the latter comprising two women artists, one living in Damascus, the other in South East England. Keep Reading

– door open –  is supported by Art Fund