Game of Goose
Digital twin of Stéphanie Saadé's group exhibition at City SALTS
19 Sep – 31 Dec 2020

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As part of the Cyber SALTS program, in collaboration with pm360 GmbH, City SALTS presents its first virtual tour: Visitors will find the immersive digital twin of the exhibition «Game Of Goose» in the Box, photo series and a video in front and on the Garage, as well as in the Tank back in the garden.

Game of Goose is an exhibition conceived by Stéphanie Saadé, with works by herself and seven other artists whom she knows personally: Caline Aoun, Sirine Fattouh, Paul Hage Boutros, Martin La Roche, Marwan Moujaes, Sanne Vaassen and Maha Yammine. Thematically and stylistically the exhibition appropriates the eponymous board game’s rules and structure. Like the board game, the space is choreographed into a spiral; it also invites the viewer to participate. Played by Saadé as a child, the Game of Goose, somewhat forgotten today, was not initially a children’s game. Originating in the XVIth century, it was decorated with illustrations depicting the political and societal concerns of the century. For this reason the board game’s popularity spread quickly across Europe.

The Game of Goose is a game of chance; to win one must exit a spiral path by throwing dices and reaching the most opportune boxes. Some boxes contain symbolic or mythological figures which bring the players – the “ocadulophiles” in French – backwards and forwards, or they may leave them inert. These boxes have titles such as the Bridge, the Hotel, the Well, the Maze, the Prison, and Death – places commonly signifying transition, fortune or stagnation. In the game, the goose is evoked as the animal symbolically known to forewarn of imminent danger. In the exhibition, the visual and structural concept of the game is extended to the entire space of SALTS; outline, figures and pawns for example materialise as interactive artworks and performances implemented by the artists – or rather the players. Viewers of the exhibition can choose to be players too and generate changes in the setting’s order, or they can simply choose to be observers of the game.

Common themes shared by the works in the exhibition oscillate between the childish, the tiny, the ludic, the poetic, the psychological, the social and the political. The works derive from or are accidentally linked to current events such as the worldwide sanitary crisis and its consequences, the lockdown, or the current political and economic turmoil in Lebanon, becoming allegories of these shared or distant experiences.