Sabrina Amrani Press Kit Zoulikha Bouabdellah Show
Press KitMirage show by Zoulikha Bouabdellah
About Mirage.Bouabdellah explains the motivations that prompted her to developMirage: "In a few months, history has changed its side. It is now beingwritten in the south, across the Mediterranean, where after Tunisian andEgyptian revolutions, civil war in Libya and the rising of Syrian people, thespreading revolution has arrived to Bahrain and Yemen. And, while Moroc-co launches unprecedented political reforms, Algeria is committed tostrengthening the democratic process. ¿How will all this end up? No onecan say with certainty", says the artist. Her only certainty at the moment isthat, as in every revolutionary process, images will perdure converted intoicons. Bouabdellah found her own: "a picture of a Mirage aircraft of theGaddafi’s Air Force". Shot down in flight by rebel forces, the imageshowed the aircraft with its beak pointing towards the Libyan soil. "The hitdidn’t come to be seen but it is significant and significative: the dictator isno longer invincibile", concludes the artist. “Is your love darling just a mirage?”. 2011
This image, chosen for the Mirage (I, II, III, IV and V) series and for thetriptyc “Is your love darling just a mirage?”, "brings us back to the ideals ofthe revolution". With these pieces, Bouabellah lays down some questions:"Will they inspire the continuation of the story, or agitated as broken promi-ses, will they remain in the state of mirages, as a more or less distortedpicture of what was a real ideal? ". In between what is here (the revolution)and what will arrive (the democracy), the artist has found in the militaryaircraft Mirage a perfect image.In the exhibition designed for Sabrina Amrani, the idea takes the form of ageometric composition inspired by the Arabic artistic repertoire. As theconcepts that underlines the tradition of the tiles, the Mirage artworks teachthe unattainable in an experience that exceeds the contemplation and pushto interpretations. "Just as the passage of this plane is difficult to discern,due to the physical phenomenon of refraction searched purposely by thebuilders of the aircraft, the shapes of Mirage combines a series of rhythmicmovements that the eye can not see accurately. These are shapes thatattract actors and spectators of the history with this lack of certainty thatcharacterizes each revolutionary episode", says Bouabdellah.The installation Algol is a schematic representation of the constellation ofthe Perseids. The name Algol comes from the Arabic "Ras al-Ghul", literallythe head of the devil. The ancient Greeks saw in this star the eye ofMedusa, a creature with the head covered by snakes whose gaze turnedto stone anyone who dared challenge it. Composed of flashing andlighted beacons, Algol is a mythological reading of tyranny, a work inprogress aimed to design the map of dead stars, of fallen dictators by thewave of change in the Arab world.The exhibition is completed with Slogan, a deviation
of the original meaning of the phrase sung by Umm Kulthum, the Egyptiangrand dame of the Arabic song. This cry of a woman, chained for the loveand eager to regain her freedom, here becomes a revolutionary slogan, auniversal formula for all the oppressed. “Slogan”. 2009
About ZoulikhaBouabdellah.Zoulikha Bouabdellah is French and Algerian although was not born inFrance nor in Algeria, but in Moscow, where his parents studied. Herpersonal history and her work, developped in the tension between groupsand different cultures that were juxtaposed, crossed and confronted intime: the family emigrated to France from Algeria when Zoulikha was 16years old, in the early 90s. At that time, Algeria lived the civil war years.But before that confrontation, the young Zoulikha already lived the contra-dictions each day, returning from school. The world of covered women inwhich she lived at school became a gallery of sensual Orientalist picturesand classical sculpture depicting naked women: this collection consistedof funds that the Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers hidden to the public andthat the artist, the daughter of the centers director, could see every daybefore entering his home, located in the very museum.The contrast and impossible synthesis between a puritan and repressiveoutside world, where iconic representations are prohibited and this other,in which Zoulikha discovered a sexual and aesthetic freedom in art forms,is one of the key elements expression of the artist, along with his relent-less pursuit of freedom that transcends religious barriers, political, moralor formal. Zoulikha Bouabdellah constantly explores the intersticesbetween "them and us" between the North and South, Europe and Africa,Christianity and Islam and fundamentally, the gap between men andwomen, the gap between what is visible and what is not said, the splitbetween pleasure and pain.The artist often focuses on Arab and Islamic contributions in astrology,mathematics, religion and aesthetics with a disturbing ability to forge newmeanings to expressions and recurring motifs which repeat, relate, over-lap and reveal new and very modern meanings that intuit the interactionof cultures. So she did with the series Two lovers, in which the word love,so often recorded in the Arabic art, becomes two lovers that test all Kama-
sutra postures.Another of her most recognized work is Walk on the sky – Pisces, whichwon the ArtDubai Abraaj Capital in 2009, the highest prestigious award inthe Arab world. In this ambitious work, a three-dimensional design, Zoulikha “Two Lovers”. 2010
embodied the constellation Pisces from conception of the astronomerAbd al-Rahman al-Sufi (903-986), whose representations from Ptolemystudies are the basis of present knowledge in this field. The piece madeuse of the polygonal star, one of the symbols most depicted in Arabic artand architecture throughout the ages, and closed the space with a floorof mirror: the same that the Queen of Sheba crossed for her encounter “Walk on the sky -Pisces”. 2009
with the King Solomon, that wanted to satisfy his curiosity, not believingthe rumor that her ankles were hairy. This reference, present in the Bibleand the Koran, attached to the contribution to human knowledge ofal-Sufi, reflects the dialogue between cultures present in the work of theartist.With these works, the artist ensures is not searching subversion, althoughshe recognizes that "the transgression is an essential component ofmodernity, that allows us to depart from the beaten path and change thecodes to look beyond". However, Bouabdellah’s work seems to look forthe subtlety in the message and a positive view of the underlying conflict.
Selected artwork. “Love - Red to blue”. 2009 “Love - Yellow to blue”. 2009
About the gallerySabrina Amrani.The promoter of this new space for contemporary art in Madrid is SabrinaAmrani. French of Algerian origin, she impulses a gallery project markedby one word: dialogue, to see and to listen to others. Therefore, thedistinctive signs of the gallery Sabrina Amrani are proposals that invite tothink on the individual, the society or space. "Political or social thoughts:the artists own, always individually", Amrani said.The gallery collaborates with artists José Luis Bongore, Elvire Bonduelle orZoulikha Bouabdellah, among others. Established and emerging artists ofmany nationalities will come together in her space because, as stated bythe gallerist: "Nor art, much less dialogue, have borders." However, Amraniacknowledges that the project will pay particular attention to the newvoices that are emerging in the Middle East and North Africa region.
For more information 00 34 627 539 884 email@example.com Madera 23. 28004 Madrid, Spainwww.sabrinaamrani.com | twitter.com/sabrinaamrani | facebook.com/sabrinaamraniartgallery