DAK’ART 2014

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

Kamel Yahiaoui


Le Poids des Origines : mixed media, 115 x 69 x 75,5 cm, 2013, Courtesy of the artist, © Belkacem Tatem.

What is the weight of a work of art? This is a strange question that no one asks. However, looking at a representation, it balances its referential weight, between its weight of similarity and its weight of dissimilarity.
The mysterious representation that Yahyaoui creates of a character whose face is lost in front of himself, as if in looking at his face in the water, Narcissus had not just seen himself, but had lost himself forever in it.
The horrified face scratched in a mirror and inlaid on the surface of the pan of a scale transforms the metal support. Thus, the practical function of the old scale is changed and returned to memorial function. The object connects two faces: the one is the memory of a skeletal form. The sculpture of a skull with bulging eyes is placed in a helmet. It contains a certain death. The other, the face scratched into the mirror, announces a resistance to stay alive.
Just in front of the skull, almost smiling, is the silhouette of a man running. Is it like Marinetti’s old idea of a future man running, or just like the footsteps of one of Giacometti’s marching men? The course of this silhouette is indefinable.
The work of Yahyaoui oscillates between a smiling enigma and a tragic enigma, the boundary is never clear. “The unsettling strangeness” is always there.

Kabyle Algerian artist born in Algiers in 1966, Kamel Yahiaoui defined himself as an "African artist" of the human condition, close to issues that can meet designers from the continent: memory, identity, post-colonial racism, domination, justice, exile. He is internationally recognized for over a decade and has exhibited alongside Reyberolles or Ernest Pignon-Ernest, and also Toguo, Soly Cissé, Bruce Clarke ("Men without History ?" exhibition, Musee des Arts Derniers, 2006), Kader Attia, Samuel Fosso and Yazid Oulab ("The other Africas," 2010). Yahiaoui lives and works in Paris since 1991 and is represented by galleries ArtSpace, Dubai and KO21, Paris.

View online : http://kamelyahiaoui.blogspot.fr