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Bassem Saad

How would you describe your artistic practice and your experience as an artist in Berlin?

I think I've been quite lucky in my Berlin experience so far. I moved here last year on a tourist visa, but managed with some institutional support to get an artist visa. (There's not a direct way to apply to this, and chances were quite low for someone with my passport, hence why I say it's lucky!) I'm learning German, and as long as I'm living in Berlin, I would like to actively work within and address the contradictions of this city.

In what ways does your studio / place of work influence the way you work? 

I don't have a studio, and I live in Neukölln which I quite enjoy. Sonnenallee is a very compelling place, for many reasons, one of which being that it is a manifestation of the afterlives of the Syrian uprising and civil war. 

What does it mean for you to exhibit at Peles Empire and how do you relate to it as an exhibition space?

Barbara and Katharina from Peles Empire were lovely to work with! The walls of their gallery are covered in a photographic print from the Peles Castle in Romania, a glaring elephant in the room that I couldn't ignore when placing my work to exhibit there! So I decided to craft a narrative around that touches on the themes in my work and the historicist Baroque style of the castle - visitors to the show will find a letter that I've addressed to Peles Empire that also functions as an artist's statement. 

Photo Credits: Sandra Gramm, courtesy the artist.

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