View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Rayyane Tabet, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini

Genealogy

Date: 2016
Medium: Sculpture. Fabric, aluminium profiles, Perspex CC clear

Rayyane Tabet created Genealogy a twenty-metre long structure, articulated around five identical display cases. Part sculpture, part presentation device, the cases stand for Tabet’s family tree, with each shelf representing one generation. Some shelves are populated by a patterned piece of textile or by plain canvas fabric, while others are left empty.

These three statuses evoke the fragmentation and dispersion of the family’s heritage – a 20-metre long rug given to Tabet’s maternal great-grandfather by a Bedouin tribe in Tell Halaf in 1929 while working on an archeological expedition there. Before his death in 1983, with no inheritance to leave behind, Tabet’s great grandfather decided to cut the rug into five equal pieces for each of his children with the recommendation that they, in turn divide the rug among their children and so on and so forth until the object eventually disappears. Today the rug is in 26 pieces spanning five generations.

Wolfgang Frank, Philippe Plessers from Frankeurope (production of display cases)
View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Rayyane Tabet, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini
View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Rayyane Tabet, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini
View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Rayyane Tabet, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini
View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Rayyane Tabet, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini