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.

Slimen El Kamel

Nurtured in the popular narrative, his childhood was molded 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 crystallize 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 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 how 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 an artist and teacher at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts in Tunis, where she has supervised several fine arts projects. An Arts Science and Techniques graduate, she has directed the Research Unit: Modern Artistic Practices in Tunisia and the Doctoral School: Arts & Culture.

She is also the author of several works on utilitarian forms and modern and contemporary artistic practices in Tunisia.
She curated Gorgi pluriel, the fourth edition of Talan l’Expo, and Hirafen, the fifth edition of Talan L’expo.

Nadia Jelassi uses various mediums and explores different political expressions and facts through various mediums. It also asks some autobiographical elements as they intersect with political history in a general way.

Also participation to several collective exhibitions at A.Gorgi 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 is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Tunisia. She explores different techniques in the fields of cinema and arts. Her work revolves around tackling concepts like perception and time, human and nonhuman history, as well as collective and individual memory, through an artistic approach that adopts divergent points of view.

Intissar investigates a variety of disciplines in order to question a generation in relation to its memory in a current socio-political context. Through this questioning, she traces what remains of an event, an era, a history. She has taken part in Art residencies in France and Denmark (Cité des Arts – Paris, Danish SVALHOM exchange program), and her works were showcased in film festivals and international art galleries. During the last few years, Intissar Belaid has supervised filmmaking workshops for children and teenagers addressing subjects as diverse as current: pollution, love in the days of the internet, global pandemic, etc.

Ibrahim Matouss

Ibrahim Màtouss is a pseudonym created from the plastic meanderings of Fakhri El Ghezal.
Since 2010, he has taken part in several group shows: Lokhrine/ Les autres and Sexy Art 3 at Galerie L’Air libre in Tunis, A dire d’elles at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Tunis, Printemps des Arts: Fair Tunis at Palais Abdellia in La Marsa, Politiques 1 and Politiques 2 at CNAV in Tunis and Galerie Talmart in Paris, Sans Transition, Slash, De-Génération and Circumambulation with Galerie A. Gorgi, where he presented his first solo show Hrigua in 2013, Burning Day in 2015 and Métamorphosis in 2016.
For Ibrahim Màtouss, the work is dialogue; painting is speech. His figures create a gap towards a piercing « reality ». « Faces of figures, figures of faces »; layers of glued paper, smoky glues, superimpositions of materials, tearing away of materials… The support and « the others » embrace, giving rise to a flesh-to-flesh encounter…
The action of the fire and the gouge hold the subjects in place in a kind of ambient, poignant malaise! Intimacy is narrated… The gap goes astray.

Héla Lamine

Hela Lamine, born in 1984, is a Tunisian multidisciplinary artist and a teacher at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts of Sousse. She lives and works in Tunis.

Since 2010, she has been developing a hybrid practice that centers around the human being and what they consume: food, social networks, politics, culture, tradition, identity, and more. She is interested in the representation of the body, its « aura, » and she questions the boundaries that separate its « unique » property from the « multiple, » the « matrix » from the « reproducible, » the « consumer » from the « consumed. » She seeks to create mechanisms that can generate confusion between what is visible and what can be concealed, playing with the delicate limits that separate these two territories, often with humor and derision.

Since 2019, in her studio-orchard in Mornag, she envisions models, ephemeral immersive installations, virtual reality worlds, all revolving around the theme of communication and connection with the non-human, specifically trees. In biomimicry, she explores alternative possibilities for human life on a planet disrupted by climate change while respecting all forms of life. To achieve this, she attempts to imagine, through drawing, the creation of hybrid objects, and experimental videos, the stages of a potential process of transformation or mutation.

Ultimately, she seeks to redefine her own place within this ecosystem. Ideally, she envisions a form of harmony that could naturally link her to this entirety.

Aïcha Snoussi

The artist’s work tackles issues of deep-rooted narratives, authority, and balances of power that shape history and social dynamics from a queer perspective. She embraces drawing as a practice of proliferation, therefore occupying visual space – merging with installations made of sculptures and meticulously collected, engraved and assembled objects and organic materials. In her practice, crayons take the shape of a blade dissecting paper and concepts. She uses fiction to question memory, ruins, vestiges of the erased, gender norms and resistance. She digs within her mediums through an archeological approach: pushing layers of an encyclopedia transformed into an anti-knowledge book or engraving bones in order to extract political content and singular languages.

Aïcha Snoussi graduated from the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Tunis and the University of  Sorbonne in Paris. She is the 2020 winner of the Sam Prize for Contemporary Art and the first prize of the Rambourg Foundation for the Underwater تحت الماء  project.  This archeological fiction is displayed and evolving through several current and upcoming exhibitions. The narrative embodied through the installations revolves around an ancient queer civilization that first emerged in Sépulture aux noyé.e.s (Mo.Co, 2021), and expanded through several solo shows: My loved ones أحبائي (Zinsou Foundation, 2021), Nous étions mille sous la table (Palais de Tokyo, 2022), Layla ليلة (La La Lande Gallery, 2022), Tout est chaos (Archeological site of Lattara, 2022). Her work has also been exhibited at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair, 1.54 Contemporary Art Fair in London, Cobra Museum in Amsterdam, Beirut Art Fair, Art Brussels, Akaa Art Fair, Cape Town Art Fair and has been shown in group shows as Habibi, les révolutions de l’amour (Arab World Institute, 2022), Les Portes du possible. Art & Science-fiction (Centre Pompidou Metz, 2022) and queer feminist art festivals and exhibitions as Ectomie Patriarcale II (Brussels, 2022) Sortir de l’hétérosexualité (Paris, 2019), Chouftouhonna International feminist art festival of Tunis (Halfaouine, 2018).

Aïcha Filali

After studying art at the University of Tunis, where she earned a doctorate in Arts and Techniques of the Arts, Aïcha Filali began by creating projects that linked handicrafts and design in the field of jewelry and traditional textiles, for which she won several awards for creativity in Tunisia and at UNESCO (1994).

She then turned to contemporary art, placing Tunisian and Arab society at the heart of her work. In her various projects, she uses a variety of materials and techniques such as ceramics, sculpture, photography, collage, embroidery, and installations. She draws all of her themes from the contemporary social world, from a critical and playful perspective, using either kitsch excess or purity.

She exhibits regularly in Tunisia and abroad (Dakar Biennale, Marrakech Artfair, Sotheby’s London, Fiac d’Alger, IMA Paris, IFA Berlin) and has over 15 solo exhibitions to her credit.

She has also published several books on some of her artistic experiences: Mémoire de terre 1995 – Fragments odorants, 2000 (prix du CREDIF de la création littéraire). Plaques et propos ; Tunis 2010. Ana/chroniques ; Sud Editions 2015. Captures ; contrastes éditions Tunis 2020. Mémoires en raccourcis ; contrastes éditions ; Tunis 2023.

L’angle mort

Dos : nom masculin, du latin populaire dossum  face postérieure du tronc de l’homme des épaules aux reins. Partie du corps d’une richesse insoupçonnée, car frappée du sceau de la banalité

De dos on ne peut rien.

On ne maitrise ni sa cambrure, ni la forme de sa croupe, ni la trace de sa culotte qui se laisse deviner sous des vêtements ajustés ; on ne commande pas le tombé de ses épaules, ni l’angle de sa nuque …  pour l’ensemble c’est l’inconnu, l’angle mort, le continent inaccessible.

De dos on n’a pas de défense, pas de parade, peu de décision, on est complètement  démuni.

Son propre dos, on n’y accède pas.