European Cultural Centre as part of Venice Art Biennale 2019, Venice, Italy

Politics of Dialogue: The Merry-Go-Round addresses the paradox of the communication crisis we are facing in an era marked by hyper-connectivity. Karam visualizes this paradox as an absurdist performance on a carousel, to be watched by the public as they would a scene from a contemporary play. The installation consists of humanoid figures with funnel-shaped heads convening in a circle for the purpose of dialogue. Circling endlessly on a rotating platform, they go up and down in turns, to the tune of merry-go-round music. Being on an elevated platform, the dialogue is dislocated from its surroundings, and the golden colour of the figures reinforces the idea that we tend to sacralise rather than question power dynamics.

From Karam’s early works on the Age of Anxiety until his more recent Shout and Silence series, the artist similarly extracts playful absurdity from a seemingly disoriented world, leaving the audience to ponder upon the multi-layered complexities of our societies.

© Giacomo Cosua, Courtesy ECC
© Elie Nohra
© Giacomo Cosua, Courtesy ECC