DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Houda Ghorbel


Je t’écoute...! (I’m listening to you) : installation, plexiglass, fabric, chalk, light and motion detector, 100x50x50cm, 2013, © Houda Ghorbel.

Je t’écoute…! requires the fact that “I’m speaking to you”. Yet, where Houda cries out in Tunisia, when she cries out, no one seems to listen and no one can speak. And so, the artist decided to create a 21st century confessional.
A black cube, pulled from the deepest depths of the collective memory of the Islamic world, is suspended on top of a transparent cube whose existence is imaginary.
We turn around the cube in an endless repetition for millennia. In this almost trance-like movement of the dervish, the artist replaces Men with words. A single phrase: I’m listening, repeats in different languages as if inviting an end to speaking. As a visitor approaches it, the light activates, inviting him to confess, to join the murmuring.
We must whisper our secrets to the world in order to fill it with ourselves. To make it full of what we are and to avoid that which is empty or that which is filled with the horrors that haunt us and threaten our freedoms. And as Houda so aptly put it:

“Body ! What makes you move?
Ask the head.
Head ! What is it that makes the body move?
Who is ‘Me’ ?
You are the eight hundred ninety-one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eighth patriot.
To what homeland do I belong?
To the Earth
Oh ! My ‘Earth’, what makes me move?
A seed
Where can it be found?
Is it there…in front…behind, above…below…Just look to see it.
My ‘Earth’, help me to find my seed.
Look within yourself and you will find it.
A deep well makes me dizzy…my eyes close and I am afraid.
Think of me and your eyes will be opened.
Come with me!
I cannot stay; another waits for me.
Who is the other?
The one that looks like you!
Stay and I will be yours forever.
You are in me! Your body is mine…
My body belongs to you, and you, to whom do you belong?
Look within yourself and you will know the answer.”

Excerpt of a letter entitled: Si la Terre parlait que pourrait-elle dire… (If the Earth Spoke What Would It Say…)

Born in 1968 in Sfax, Tunisia, Houda Ghorbel is a multidisciplinary artist, based in Tunis. Her work interweaves painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, installation and demonstrates its critical, philosophical, or even political involvement. Doctor of Science and Technology of Arts of the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Tunis, she has participated in several exhibitions, residencies and realized performance including: "Help me push, my voice is nothing without yours ...", performance in different cities of Tunisia, 2012-2013; International Symposium of Ceramics in New Valley, Egypt, 2013; Spring Arts Festival, La Marsa, Tunisia, 2012; "The revolution in pictures", European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium 2011; International Residence in Osnabrück, Germany, 2009; "Ceramics", Art Présent Gallery , Paris, France, 2004.

View online : www.houdaghorbel.com