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18 Mar 2012

'Cuerpos' by Benbouchta / Bouabdellah / Kossentini at Galería Sabrina Amrani, Madrid

'Down in the rabbit hole', Amina Benbouchta

'Cuerpos' by Benbouchta / Bouabdellah / Kossentini
Galería Sabrina Amrani


29 Feb - 6 Apr 2012

Sarah Amrani

Galería Sabrina Amrani
Madera, 23
28004 Madrid

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The next show at Sabrina Amrani art gallery speaks in feminine. Three artists, a moroccan, a tunisian and an algerian, share their vision about art, women and their situation in North African countires in the group show 'Cuerpos', a word that resembles of a reivindication: that of making visible the identity of the arab woman, whose body is often covered, and even hidden to the eyes of their closest dearest.

The first group show at Sabrina Amrani will gather the views of Amina Benbouchta (1963, Morocco); Nicène Kossentini (1976, Tunisia) and Zoulikha Bouabdellah (1977, Algeria), that comes back to the gallery after the success of her first show 'Mirage', where she reflected about the wave of change in the arab world.

Zoulikha Boaubdellah spent her childhood discovering the funds of the Argel Museum of Art, that was run by her mother. Scaping from the civil war in their country, her family moved into France in 1993. The exile is also present in her work, with a constant: the dialogue between the West and the arab world. In 'Cuerpos', the algerian artist shows one of her more celebrated artworks: 'Two Lovers – La Roue', in which she reinterprets one of the most recognizable elements of arab iconography: calligraphy. However, there is no need to understand arab language to comprehend the work, only to contemplate the word Love (Hobb, in arabic) making love to the word Love. It is a calling of the loving sentiment, a sensation that does not know of limits of frontiers; and that the arab poetry has captured during centuries confronting taboos and prohibitions, in the same subtle manner that Zoulikha presents her work.

'Cuerpos' follows its proposal through the works of Amina Benbouchta, that presents 'Down in the rabbit hole', her first aproximation to photography. In her photos, she recreates scenes where the own artist appears with her head covered, while sourrounded by oniric objects. In this luxurious stages, beautifully decorated, with a violent elegance a woman has became an object. Amina, until now focused on painting, expresses in this proposal the position of the woman in current societies – but specially in the arab world – . As it happens to Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland', Benbouchta's woman is found lost between inside and outside, and continues her permanent search of her own identity.

At last, Nicène Kossentini, tunisian artist that will present a solo show in september in the gallery, reflects about the transmission of the collective memory in the video 'Stories'. In it, she recovers fragments of the stories that her grandmather used to tell her before she died: legends and stories that were transmimited from mather to daughter from generation to generation and that now is beggining to disappear in modern arab societies.

Nicène also brings to Sabrina Amrani the photograpich series 'What the water gave me', which title has been voluntarily taken from the Frida Khalo's painting to designate the arrival to conciousness through the introspective inmersion that this work represents, that is revealed progressively transmitting this phenomenology of perception where things affect our bodies in a purely aesthetic temporality.

The group show 'Cuerpos' participates in the I Festival Miradas de Mujeres