Young Algerian Artists (YAA)

November 17, 2013 § Leave a comment


YAA is not only an abbreviation for Young Algerian Artists (a humoristic reference to the YBAs) but it is also an onomatopoeia for an exclamation that might be interpreted in a variety of ways via the themes presented in the different works: joy, anger, puzzlement, etc. The aim here was to bring together young Algerian artists who draw inspiration from their immediate reality and surroundings while still reflecting on what’s happening on a global scale. Sadek Rahim, Walid Bouchouchi, Sadek Lamri, Nawel Louerrad and Amina Zoubir, five artists who live and work primarily in Algeria, raise in different ways issues that are related to contemporary Algerian society that might have a political angle and that can be a comment on the media, both at the local and global levels.

Burning Dreams by Sadek Rahim

Burning Dreams by Sadek Rahim

Sadek Rahim already has some experience as a visual artist, having exhibited at the Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain in Algiers (MAMA) and as co-curator for the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Oran. He obtained his Master in Fine Art in 2003 from Saint Martins College of Art in London after studying in Beirut (Lebanon). In Burning Dreams, he gives an ironic re-interpretation of clandestine immigration using references to the legendary story of the flying carpet, in this case across the Mediterranean sea.

Walid Bouchouchi is completing his Master in Fine Art in Algiers, where he’s studying ghaphic design and photography. He presents a series of colour photographs entitled Printemps – Vu à la télé (Spring -seen on TV), a satirical depiction of various events of the overmediatised Arab spring. He is subversive in his use of the figure of the young revolutionary brandishing with conviction his laptop showing his Facebook page.

Walid Bouchouchi (left) installing his series of photographs - Spring , Seen on TV.

Walid Bouchouchi (left) installing his series of photographs – Spring , Seen on TV.

Sadek Lamri has a degree from the School of Fine Art in Mostaganem (Algeria) and specialises in painting and drawing. He shows young people, one finds in the big cities of the world, whom he believes to be lost to themselves or lost in society, but avoid being judgemental. Lassitude, the painting he is exhibiting here, shows a man in a hood who has turned his back to us and faces a wall or a world without exit: a figure of disillusion.

Nawel Louerrad, after obtaining her degree in architecture in Algeria, studied scenography and theatre in France. In 2012, she published her first graphic novel Les Vêpres Algériennnes, in which she raised sensitive issues related to Algerian history and identity. This was followed by Bach to black, which has been published in October, featuring a turtle as the main character. Nawel draws compulsivly purely for the sake of drawing and presents here a series of drawings and sketches in black and white, accompanied by texts in French and Arabic from her notebooks.

Drawing by Nawel Louerrad
Drawing by Nawel Louerrad

Amina Zoubir, a visual and video artist, has a Master in new media (theory and practice) from the University of Paris 8 and a Fine Art degree from Algiers. She is doing her doctoral research at the AIAC (Arts des Images, Art Contemporain) at the University of Paris 8 and questions gender issues and the role of women in the Arab world. In 2012, she presented performative actions in Algiers’ urban areas entitled Prends ta place for the webdocumentary Un été à Alger.

Katia Yezli, who’s curating this exhibition, studied Fine Art at the Chelsea College of Art (BA Hons) in London and photography at the University of Oregon in the US. Her recent thesis, as part of her Master in Fine Art at the University of Panthéon Sorbonne in Paris, explores the relationships between art and socio-politics, with a strong interest in artists from the Arab world.

This exhibition is part of Festival Algérie en Mouvement (From 12 to 16 Nov) which aims to present Algeria and its youth in a different light, and to build bridges between civil societies on both sides of the Mediterranean.


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