Selected Essays
Selected Reviews
de volkskrant- Merel Bem
ArtAsiaPacific Magazine- Rathsaran Sireekan
Mister Motley- Juul van Stokkem
Turun Sanomat- Pia Parkkinen
Puntkomma- Hugo Bongers
de Volkskrant- Jeanne Prisser
derStandard- Wiltrud Hackl
Stavanger Aftenblad- Trond Bogen
Politiken- Sara Maria Glanowski
Metropolis M- Jaring Dürst Britt
NRC- Manon Braat
Kunstbeeld - Wim van der Beek
de Volkskrant- Marina de Vries
New York Arts Magazine- Rodrigo Tisi

de Volkskrant , The Netherlands , 8 September  2017

Not a Clue about Tomorrow shows how art can connect, but engagement is not inconsequential
Merel Bem

English translation: Heleen Schröder

An intriguing film in Nieuw Dakota. Certainly, art can connect totally different worlds. But how does the protagonist, the Syrian Mosab Anzo, benefit from this attention?
It would be saying too much to call the members of the MG&M Collective a cute trio, as if they were figures from a comic strip instead of serious artists. But the viewer of the film, Not a Clue about Tomorrow, at the exhibition Home Is Where You Fit in Nieuw Dakota in Amsterdam will smile once in a while by the collaboration between the Israeli artists’ duo Gil & Moti, in identical clothes and top knots, and the Syrian artist Mosab Anzo, who has been living in the Netherlands for a while.

Their get-on-with-it-mentality in the film is a breath of fresh air

Not that Anzo’s is a funny story. He fled his home country without informing his family, and often feels lonely. His sober narrative style, combined with Gil & Moti’s comically bobbing top knots and their get-on-with-it-mentality provide a breath of fresh air to the film, that is partly about Anzo’s past, but also about finding a new home by way of art.

It’s been a Gil & Moti trademark for years: their own presence in their performance-like work about identity and the meaning of the individual within society. Being together and making things together – that is their work, often more than what results in tangible works of art.

Is Anzo not a plaything of two artists who want to ‘make a good impression’ with a refugee?

This is also the case at Nieuw Dakota. There are various things on display, but the objects are less interesting than the film, which captures the process of looking for a connection. Quite funny, because there is a lot to remark on Not a Clue about Tomorrow, both technically and about the contents. The images are not really coherent, and there is neither a lot of direction nor introduction. Why do the men interview Hilde de Bruijn, curator of the Cobra Museum? And why is there no answer to her question to Anzo: what do you gain from the collaboration? She doesn’t say it in so many words, but what she means, and what I also thought, rather cynically, while watching: is Anzo not a plaything of two artists who want to ‘make a good impression’ with a refugee?

The film removes some of the doubts. That is because it is grounded in such optimism. All three of the men seem convinced by the beautiful idea that being an artist is an identity that transgresses boundaries, in which they can find each other despite their cultural differences. Perhaps that explains their interest in the international CoBrA-artists. Nonetheless, De Bruijn’s question lingers. One hopes that the MG&M Collective will answer her in one of their next performances or debates. Because after all, engagement is not without consequence.

Home Is Where You Fit - MG&M Collective. Until 8/10, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam.