The first London group show of six contemporary Algerian artists, featuring works by Fayçal Baghriche, Amina Menia, Atef Berredjem, Hanan Benammar, Massinissa Selmani and Sadek Rahim. Rahim
Participating artists share an interest in transitional places, empty spaces and intermediary zones. Drawing on a range of media, their work articulates that which exists between the visible and the invisible, the private and the public.
Amina Menia for example, hopes to ‘underline discreet realities, highlight unseen details, [to] create links where dots were left’. For this show she presents Enclosed, which was inspired by a memorial sculpture on display in central Algiers.
The memorial, Monument to the Dead, was designed by French sculptor Paul Landowski in 1928, but in the 1970s it was enclosed in a sarcophagus by local artist M’hamed Issiakhem. Today cracks can be seen appearing in the outer shell, revealing the original sculpture beneath. Menia uses this visual example as a means by which to illustrate the fissures that exist in Algeria's history and heritage, post independence.
Massinissa Selmani meanwhile, explores urban expansion into non-traditional spaces. The overcrowded neighbourhood of Diar Echems in the heart of Algiers is known for the riots that erupted in protest against squalid housing conditions, and Selmani's installation considers the subsequent development of a slum on the site of an adjacent football pitch.
Following a one-month residency at The Mosaic Rooms, Sadek Rahim has developed a site-specific work inspired by the liminal details of the Victorian townhouse, while Fayçal Baghriche’s installation attempts to enact the saying ‘Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear’ through the medium of light and shadow.
Curated by aria (artist residency in algiers). Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Part of the London Festival of Architecture, 2014.