Walid Ardhaoui

I obtained my Interior Design degree in 2006 (ISBAT) and a Diploma of English in 2008 (Dublin School of English). I have been exhibiting since 1994, as a student at the El Omrane Arts Pilot High School. Installed in Tunisia since 2014 I participated in several artistic events including “Al Maken” in Sidi Bou Said, and a group exhibition in EL Teatro. Meanwhile, I lived, worked and exhibited, between Dublin, Dubai and Abha (Saudi Arabia).

My first personal exhibition “AL MAHJOUZ”, the seized, EL Teatro, was in April 2016, oil painting on recycled wood and cement, offering realistic figures, which are immersed in a consumerist newspaper. In 2017, I participated in a personal exhibition “BARZAKH”, isthmus, at  Aicha Gorgi gallery, as part of the Jaou 2017 event organized by kamel Lazaar Foundation with the theme “The Migrant Nation”. Through my paintings, I traced the sad journey of some young people where dreams begin with a smile and a bright future to end in disappointment and bitterness. One of these works is currently part of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation Collection. .

I use photography as an intermediary between reality and painting, I need to paint, to make the invisible visible. Painting helps me to escape the criteria of languages, religions and cultures. I do not analyze or express myself, I simply ask myself a question: who is jealous of the other, the painting or the photo? Who defines the other, us or space?

Malek Gnaoui

Born in 1983 in Gabès, Tunisia, he lives and works in Tunis.
 He did his Ceramicist studies at the School of Art and Design of Tunis and deepened his learning at the National Center of Ceramic Arts “Sidi Kacem Jellizi”. He completed two artistic residencies: one at the Cité des Arts in Paris [FR] and another at the Radés Center of Living Arts, Tunisia.

Malek often offers ceramic artworks (raw or screen printed) to which he incorporates light, sound or video.

The notion of the «spiritual» is explored in his works based on popular imagery and traditional practices and customs. A series of his works take on the figure of sheep and all the imagery that surround it during the ritual of sacrifice, which is practiced by Muslims. This figure is perplexing, be it the portraits of sheep, knives or objects with horns, the viewer vacillates between two references: that of the bloody ritual and that of the metaphor of the flock.

Maher Gnaoui

Born in 1987 in Gabès [TN]. He lives and works in Tunis [TN].
He’s a former sculpture student at the Tunis Institute of Fine Arts [TN]. He is immersed in the world of urban art «street art» where artworks are created mainly on walls, buildings, and other structures found outside, in the streets.

The same techniques (stencils, wall collage, spray paint, etc.) are reused by the artist on everyday objects, what we could call «home-art.» Through this practice, Maher changes the appearance of the object, its image but not its function; he tattoos the surface of the object. His recent works have taken a new direction; he exploits new materials, combines metal with concrete, and intro- duces outside elements into his work.

Douraïd Souissi

Douraïd Souissi discovered photography as an art form in the United States where he graduated with a bachelor’s in international finance and a master’s in philosophy. While slowly developing his compositional and technical skills, using mostly black and white film, he got interested in the works of Harry Callahan, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, which he admired not only for their rigor and simplicity but also for their effective use of the medium’s ability to observe the world more closely and offer radical new ways to reinterpret it.

Moving back to his native Tunisia, he quickly found himself solicited to shoot portraits and promotional assignments allowing him to further perfect his craft, especially the use of light in and outside of the studio, while meeting and collaborating with many of the country’s young artists, designers and other creative talents.

In the past few years, he set out to explore Tunisia’s less traveled and often forgotten regions producing series of images in Kef, Siliana, Kerkennah, Qayrawan and reflecting on the artistic value and potential of visual representation and the landscape tradition from Renaissance paintings to the New Topographics and beyond. Recently, he started working on a series of portraits that depict ordinary Tunisian men looking down with their backs turned to the camera while surrounded by an unusually large and empty dark space.

His work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions across Tunisia as well as other countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Qr’n, produced in 2015 and exhibited at the Tunis-based Galerie AGorgi and subsequently Talan, attests to his increasing openness and desire to explore and experiment with photography’s infinite possibilities, which extend far beyond its craft.

Belhassen Chtioui

Born in 1987 in Tunis [TN]. Lives and works in Tunis [TN].
Belhassen Chtioui is a graphic designer. He completed his studies at the UAD : The University of Art and Design [TN] .
Once reserved for the world of advertising, the use of computer technology, particularly image proces- sing software, is a practice which is becoming increasingly popularized in Contemporary Art. Belhassen uses these tools in his series of «prints» or digital prints. Each image is worked in monochrome; the sub- ject is placed in the center of the image or completely staggered, partially out of scope. A special atmos- phere emerges from his work, sometimes his subjects seem to tear away from the depth and float, and sometimes they seem to want to escape the frame.

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Born in 1986 in Tunisia, she lives and works both in Tunis and Paris. In her work on paper, Yesmine Ben Kehlil reappropriates images she has found on the internet: old photographs, books or archive documents and incorporates them into drawings done with felt tip pens, pencils, ink and gli er paint. In J’ai tenu parole (2015), a series based on a propaganda document published by the Tunisian government in 1963, the artist establishes an ironic relationship between the past and present of her country. Using superposition, the drawings can be seen through the depth of the book’s pages. A poetic montage of the images of yesteryear with those of today enables the artist to raise the issue of the rewriting of history and the representation of reality in a world transformed by the constant ow of information.

Yesmine Ben Khelil received a degree in Plastic Arts and Sciences of Art from the Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. She participated in Réenchantements, the main exhibition of the 12th Dakar Biennale (2016), as well as in a collective exhibition at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam in Paris (2016).

Yesmine Ben Khelil’s work explores, develops and captures a world of speculative beings mined from internet searches and stock imagery. So-called characters are then immortalised in ink, pencil or pastel portraits, a process which serves to question the reality or truth of their derivative image. These drawings are often placed against or into old literary editions, challenging the schemata of the book.

Ben Khelil received a master’s degree in Plastic Arts and Sciences of Art from Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris. Solo exhibitions include History of Haunting, Escalier B, Bordeaux (2016) and The Universe is Expanding, Selma Feriani Gallery, Tunis (2016). Works have been presented at Nanjing International Art Festival, Baijia Lake Museum, Nanjing (2016); Dak’Art – Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar (2016) and Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris (2016).

 

Slimen El Kamel

Slimen El Kamel was born in Mazouna in the region of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia. Nurtured in the popular narrative, his childhood was moulded by the imagination of the rural environment where the tradition of folk tales and poetry flourished. His studies at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Tunis allowed him to crystallise this literary and intellectual heritage into a singular artistic practice. A practice whose genesis opens through writing and draws its resources from its texts, sometimes poetic or literary, sometimes memorial or improvised. The daily writing exercise, while it delimits, extends the horizons of its physical universe.

Not far from free figuration, the artist questions the relationship between the real and the imaginary through the dramatization of the constellated image. Images of memory, of a reality taken from everyday media, intersect in a pictorial field where, on the surface of a picture, the rustling of a dialogue begins without end, not for the narrative of a fact, but for a festival of narratives.

His more recent work considers the links between the human body and everyday consumable objects. El Kamel considers the ways in which virtual and lived reality hinge upon visual and auditory channels of communication.

El Kamel holds a Masters in painting from the Tunis Institute of Fine Arts. He has participated in exhibitions and art fairs in Africa and Europe. El Kamel was an art resident at the Living Arts Center at Rades for a year and paid multiple artistic and research visits to Paris, Algeria, and Bahrain. He was a finalist of the inaugural Sovereign MENA Art Prize in partnership with Start. This prize awards 30 of the most exciting mid-career artists across the MENA region with an exhibition in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. The exhibition took place in October 2016. The artist is also active as an art critic.

 

Nadia Jelassi

Nadia JELASSI is bord in 1958, she is a visual Artist, who lives and works in Tunisia.
She is a Professor at Institut supérieur des Beaux-Arts, Tunis.
Nadia Jelassi uses various mediums and explores through various mediums different political expressions and facts. Also asks some autobiographical elements as they intersect with political history in a general way.

Also participation to several collective exhibitions at Ammar Farhat Gallery, Kanvas art gallery, Hope Contemporary, Carthage Museum, Château de Servières (Marseille), Musée de la vieille charité (Marseille), Contemporary Art Museum of Gibellina, (Italy) …

 

Intissar Belaid

Intissar Belaid, visual artist and filmmaker, born in 1984 in Kef (Tunisia), lives and works in Tunis where she participates regularly in group and individual exhibitions.
After graduating from the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Nabeul in 2006(l’Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts de Nabeul – ISBAN),she studied at the Film School of Tunis(École Supérieure de l’Audiovisuel et du Cinéma à Gammarth) until 2009. In 2012, she obtained a master’s degree in film research at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.

Videographer, photographer, or embroiderer, Intissar Belaid explores several techniques to question a generation over their collective and individual memory in a current socio-political context.

The empty gaze, the deafening speech, we can no longer follow.
The images scroll, follow one another, record themselves and disappear to the rhythm of events. What do we remember? Maybe a forgotten shock? A mitigated position? or a mute question?
The artist, Intissar Belaid, offers us an intersectional look of a Real and its imaginary counterpart. Images engraved in our heads yet ruminated in this Real, she recomposes the absurd elements that have contributed to its formation and she inserts slices of the documentary in the plot of fiction. This thread, which will no longer leave this traumatized weave, redraws, through the transparency of an erased memory, what remains of an event, a time, a story …

 

Héla Lamine

Born in 1984 in Tunis, is a graduate of the Fine Arts Institute of Tunis and the University of Paris I Panthéon –Sorbonne (France). She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Fine Arts, and teaches at the Institute of Fine Arts in Sousse (Tunisia).

Hela Lamine exploits several means such as drawing, engraving, painting, collage, fresco and new digital techniques. Whether through graphic narratives or food “laid on plate and on display”, she experiments, often in a jocular and derisive way, the confusion that underlies what can be seen and what may be hidden underneath. Eagerly interested in works “open” to several interpretations, she makes use of fiction aiming at mainly establishing a contact with the “Other” with whom she seeks to share and interact, with regards their own wonderings about human beings, contemporary society or again the political.

Aïcha Snoussi

Engraver by training, Aïcha Snoussi is recognised for her large-scale, site-specific graphic ink murals drawn directly onto gallery and museum walls. In her scaled-down works conducted in sketchbooks, the paper is lacerated, tortured and punctured as though it were a skin.

The ink, the lead, the black stone, the metallic tip, cut the flat surface as one would peel off the epidermis. Drawing is slipping under the skin. The trace of the line, in the grip of the gesture, rubs the paper and detaches the layers. Drawing is what is underneath-not the sketch of the painter buried beneath the pigments-but the flesh and the humours, the viscosities, the osseous structures. Nerves, blood, muscles, fats, bones, ligaments, organs, and cartilages, are removed by delicate, precise, lively gestures, extracts what is inside, and exposes fragments of the body, rejected at the surface. The paper or the wall becomes the playground of the draftsman and surgeon operating in vivo, between the layers, in the strata

Aïcha Snoussi’s cahiers or notebooks are an encyclopedia of anti-knowledge. The set of notebooks functions as a machine to unbind established norms, rooted knowledge. By precise and obsessive processes, a series of manipulations opens, expands and reinvents forms, as though a surgery on a dissection table. The tip of the felt extracts what is inside and outside the body fragments, protruding, viscous masses, a set of heteroblastic and protean elements in which the organic and the machine endlessly interlock. The drawing is carried out by methods of contamination, by an obsession of the erotic flesh in its embrace with death and pain, it is also a tool of deconstruction. Deconstruction of the polished body, deconstruction of the subject by the bursting of the organs.

 

Aïcha Filali

Aicha Filali was born in 1956 in Tunis where she lives and works.

Most of the themes treated by Aicha filali raise social issues in all their extensions: sculpture, installations, and portraits… using different materials and techniques: from ceramics and fabrics to photos and collages…

On the lookout of the events of the everyday life and the ambient social bonds in her immediate environment, she carries a unique vision with different perceptions; she has a sharp yet tender outlook on the contemporary society in all its multiple extensions.

Aicha Filali’s exhibits her art regularly since in 1984.

She succeeded in presenting around 15 personal exhibitions along her carrier.

She took part at the exhibition « Dégagements » in the Arab World Institute (Paris, France) and « La Vie en Rose » at the IFI gallery (Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany), and sold several of her artwork in the Sotheby’s auctions.

Rym Karoui

Born in 1967 in Tunis [TN]. Lives and works in Tunis [TN].
Rym Karoui earned her Advanced National Diploma in Visual Arts and Plastic Expressionism from the School of Fine-Arts of Marseille, France, in 1993. She then pursued her artistic training in sculpture and painting at the School of Fine Arts both in Paris and Barcelona.
Self-proclaimed « artist-anthropologist », Rym is fascinated by cultural diversity. Greatly innovative and creative, she works mainly with acrylic, often with collage and other mixed media on canvas or on metal for sculptures. Her use of vivid color palettes of intense vibrant tones conveys universes of extravagance, creativity and magic filled with signs, symbols and animated rangy figures such as jockeys or acrobats. Beyond her pictorial wonderlands, reminding us of “art toys”, there is a vital need to maintain alive fantasy within all of us. The strong emotion felt affront of her paintings yet stands out of her sculptures, revealing a three dimensional life force to her enchanted world.