KfW Stiftung together with Künstlerhaus Bethanien have set up an artist-in-residence programme that provides up-and-coming artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East with the opportunity to spend twelve months in Berlin. The ongoing monographic series published by Verlag Kettler presents the work of each grant holder.
The sculptures and installations by Salwa Aleryani, born 1982 in Yemen, prompt a vast range of associations in the viewer. Her works are evocative of arte povera, then again of American minimal art, but defy any categorisation. The artist places strong emphasis on the material which is of fundamental importance to her. In general, she uses basic everyday materials and devices available in any hardware store, thus always conjuring up the objects normally made from these materials. Although the shapes she creates essentially remain abstract, they nevertheless trigger memories of streets, buildings, cities – situations we encounter in public places day in, day out.
By intentionally giving her works an imperfect, unfinished look, Aleryani refers to the production process and at the same time to the decay of all things. Does the result satisfy expectations, will it last? Even if her works inevitably seem reminiscent of the war-ridden towns of her native country, this is merely suggested, it never becomes specific. Aleryani provides no direct clues and ultimately creates universally valid images.