Meriem Bouderbala

Born in 1960 in Tunis where she lives and works.

Biography

Meriem Bouderbala was trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Aix-en-Provence and the Chelsea School of Art in London. She lives and works between Paris and Tunis. It is in her dual French and Tunisian origin and her dual culture that she draws her creative inspiration. Both have prompted the gestures, revisions, and decisions that have led her works towards a « becoming minority, » as she claimed. A concept forged by Gilles Deleuze, it signifies not exclusion or marginalization but rather the inherent strength in the minority, or more precisely, the latent and underground power of transformation and disturbance in the voluntary movement towards a « becoming minority. »

Indeed, Meriem Bouderbala, whose sensitivity is marked by this weaving of cultural and emotional ties with the Mediterranean, has chosen to work in-between and to cast a lucid and critical gaze on these two shores that history has alternately brought together and separated.

She belongs to the active minority of artists from the Maghreb who contribute to shaping the evolving culture while acting as a kind of interface with the other shore of the Mediterranean. Through their works and their presence on the borderlines, they participate in the evolution of thought and the mutation of mentalities.

This spatial and temporal intertwining and these cultural interactions allow for a fascinating self-reflection of Meriem Bouderbala’s artistic experience, attempting to merge Eastern and Western sensibilities around the representation of the body and thus rediscover « that point where the human figure is both flesh and signs. »

Her work, is characterized by the creative balance between performance and still or animated images, including paintings, photos, videos, installations, and ceramics. She is also the curator of numerous exhibitions initiated in Tunisia.

She was the first to invest in the Medina of Tunis for greater proximity with those who never see art, with the « Rencontres d’art contemporain » in 2003, which would herald Dream City. Following this, there was a speculative reflection on Orientalism and the impact of the young generations of artists from the Arab world in « Images révélées. »

Her exhibition at Abdéllia was the most emblematic and politicized curatorial project, as it aimed to create a virtual Art Fair to express itself despite government censorship. It was both a failure and a success that pitted two worlds against each other in a surge of violence that even led to a curfew.

Her exhibitions are always catalysts for questions that are never directly posed. Her latest curatorial project continues her exploration of this « great reason » and attempts to rediscover that freedom where the representation of her individuality allows her to evoke the intimacy of the body while transgressing aesthetic norms and various conformities.

She declares, « I make of my body, of its altered, disrupted photographic exhibition, a stage, an ephemeral platform for a tragedy without origin and with no end. »

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Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions (Selection)

2018 : Hommage à Klimt, Bank Austria Kunstforum Museum, Vienna.

2017 : Jardin d’Eden, La Boîte_Un lieu d’art contemporain, Tunis.

2015 : Ambivalences Suspectes, Ghaya Gallery, Tunis.

2013 : Inviolable image, La Boîte_Un lieu d’art contemporain, Tunis.

2012 : Psykédelik, Galerie GVCC, Casablanca.

2010 : Sur le fil, A.Gorgi gallery, Tunis.

2009 : Etoffes cutanées, Galerie CMOOA, Rabat.

2008 : Universe, Selma Feriani Gallery, London.

2007 : La lumière comme un chant dans la nuit minérale, A.Gorgi gallery, Tunis.

2003 : Etoffes cutanées, A.Gorgi gallery, Tunis.

2001 : Hammam, A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.

1999 : Zaouias, A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.

1998 : Visions d’une Grande Peste, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris.

1996 : OEil noir, Galerie Médina, Tunis.

1993 : Éclipse, Galerie Lola Gassin, Nice.

1991 : Épreuve, Galerie Keller, Paris.

1987 : Poussières, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.

Group exhibtions (Selection)

2024 :
The light between, WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, Cape Town.
Moving Figures,  A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.

2023 :
Hirafen, Talan L’expo – A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.
Nature morte (ou enterrée?), Musée Safia Farhat, Radès.

2021 :
L’ESPACE DU DEDANS, A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.
#Unconditional, A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.

2019 :
Modest fashion, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam.
Prête moi ton rêve, Exposition Panafricaine itinérante. Casablanca , Dakar, Cap-Town – Africa.

2018 :
Gorgi Pluriel – Résonances, Talan L’expo – A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.
Une ligne, un tracé… , A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis
Orient-Fantasmé, Fondation Slaoui, Casablanca.

2016 :
3ajel / Le temps réel, Talan L’expo – A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.
Yesterday is Tomorrow’s Memory, ElMarsa Gallery, Dubai.

2014 :
Féminin (Pluriel), A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.
Dé-générationA.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.
Circumambulation, Talan L’expo – A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.

2012 :
Le corps découvert
, Institut du Monde Arab, Paris.
DEGAGEMENT, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.

2011 :
Dos Orillas – El Arte Contemporaneo en el Magreb, Museum of Contemporary Art of Madrid, Madrid.
Images Affranchies, Musée Banque du Maroc, Marrakech.
Mastermind – L’amour et la violence, Galerie GVCC, Casablanca.
les insignes de la citoyenneté, A.Gorgi Gallery, Tunis.

2010 :
Entre Deux Rives, Musée de la Monnaie de Paris, France
La Part du Corps, Palais Kheïreddine, Museum of the city of Tunis, Tunis.

2009 :
Traversées: Artistes Contemporains Arabes, Darb 1718, Cairo, Egypt; Galerie Bab Rouah and Galerie Bab El Kébir, Rabat, Morocco

2008 :
Femmes d’images en Tunisie, Espace privé, Boulogne-Billancourt.

2006
l’Image révélée, Museum of the city of Tunis, Tunis.

2001 :
Carthage et l’art contemporain, Ministry of Culture, Tunis.

2000 :
Oliviers, Exposition Universelle Hanovre, Hanover

1998 ;
Invitation To Love, Bedroom Gallery-Bathroom Gallery, Paris.
Dix ans de Jeune Peinture Tunisienne, Tunis.
Breaking the Veils, The Royal Society of Fine Arts, Amman.

1997 :
Risquer l’inconnu ou l’autre multiplié, Biennale de Lyon, Galerie Olivier Houg, Lyon.
Je ne quitterai jamais mes amis, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris.

1996 :
Chassé-croisé… Peintres tunisiens et européens au XXème siècle, Palais Kheïreddine Pacha, Tunis

1995 :
Tunisie: Regard sur l’Art Contemporain, Espace Ecureuil, Toulouse; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.

1994 :
Women in the Arts, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.
La Méditerranée a du Talent, French Cultural Center, Casablanca.
Autour de la Méditerranée, Galerie Lola Gassin, Cannes.

1993 :
Musée d’art Contemporain de la Ville de Lisbonne.