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.
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 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 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, 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 …
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.
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.
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.
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