The exhibition Our World is Burning offers a committed view of contemporary creation from the Persian Gulf, where wars and diplomatic tensions have constantly determined the history of the early 21st century. The title explicitly refers to the human dramas generated by the successive conflicts in this region, while bringing in as well the ecological catastrophes embodied by the immensely destructive forest fires from Amazonia to Siberia, without forgetting California. But fire is not just an affirmation of danger. Ambivalently, it is also a symbol of the formidable democratic élan experienced by this region during the Arab Springs. In this way, the exhibition draws up a fragmentary, sensitive map describing the numerous political and societal transformations in the Middle East.
From the destruction of Iraqi treasures (Michael Rakowitz) to the fate of Syrian refugees (Monira Al Solh), while taking in the financial backing of the Taliban through the exploitation of lapis lazuli in Afghanistan (Asli Cavusoglu), Our World is Burning presents a complex intermeshing of events, to which the artworks allude while offering multiple poetic forms of flight. The exhibition in fact opens with a reflexion on the issue of the Anthropocene (John Akomfrah, Yto Barrada, Raqs Media Collective) and the question of the use of natural resources (Monira Al Qadiri, Sammy Baloji, Fabrice Hyber) in order to participate in the debate about the need to change our exclusively exploitative relationship with nature.