Version française


A Survey of Art from Algeria and Its Diaspora

Collective exhibition

With: Mohamed Aksouh, Arezki-Aoun, Kader Attia, Louisa Babari, Baya, Fayçal Baghriche, Abdallah Benanteur, Mahdjoub Ben Bella, Adel Bentounsi, Halida Boughriet, Nasser Bouzid, Fatima Chafaa, Hakima El Djoudi, Hassen Ferhani, Abdelkader Guermaz, Mohammed Khadda, Mourad Krinah, Nawel Louerrad, Amina Menia, Ahmed Abdelaali Merzagui, Lydia Ourahmane, Sara Sadik, Zineb Sedira, Massinissa Selmani, Fella Tamzali Tahari, Djamel Tatah, Hellal Zoubir, Sofiane Zouggar *
*List subject to modification and addition

Curated by Natasha Marie Llorens

February 12 – May 16, 2020

Floor 3 & 4 - Tour Panorama
Friche la Belle de Mai
41 rue Jobin
13003 Marseille

Design: Studio Akakir, 2020.

En attendant Omar Gatlato presents twenty-eight artists from Algeria and its diaspora. This unprecedented perspective on the Algerian artistic context includes art works from 1965 to the present day, including several new commissions. It is inspired by Merzack Allouache’s classic film, Omar Gatlato, known as the the first Algerian film to center on an individual experience of emancipation and self-discovery. Like the film that inspired it, En attendant Omar Gatlato exhibits work that, at the scale of everyday experience, is saturated with surreal humor, meticulous attention to the body, and ambivalent sense of belonging.
En attendant Omar Gatlato is also the title of a 1979 book published by Algerian lawyer, writer and feminist Wassyla Tamzali, devoted to early Algerian experimental film. Through her association of references to Samuel Becket’s play Waiting for Godot with Allouache Omar Gatlato, Tamzali provides a dual sensibility and an important conceptual way forward. These two portraits of anti-heroes trying to make sense of their day to day lives illuminate the manner in which artists and filmmakers engage decoloniality, or the critique of European colonial regimes of knowledge.

Like Beckett and Allouache the works by the twenty-eight artists in the exhibition offer diverse, polyphonic, unstable representations of life in Algeria and in its diaspora. Rigorously critical in their relation to colonialism’s formal legacies, such as Orientalism and the monument, the works represent several generations’ reflection on their society that remains an important model for how art continues to think through decolonization.

Algeria’s eight-year struggle for independence from France (1954 -1962) and the euphoria of its achievement inspired the anti-racist struggles and independence movements of the 1960s and 1970s (most notably the African National Congress’ fight against apartheid and the Black Panthers, etc.) Yet over the last fifty years this political legacy has hardened into a single-party system founded on the war’s mythologization. Algeria’s artists reject this national mythology in favor of the everyday experience both in their work and, for some, since February 2019 with their bodies in the street. This exhibition testifies their multivalent commitment to emancipation in all the forms in which it finds expression.

About Triangle - Aste?rides and the partnerships with the Cnap and the Box24

Triangle – Aste?rides has partnered with the Centre national des arts plastiques and an Algerian organization, Box24, to bring together an extraordinary range of artworks related to the Algerian context.

Le Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap) is one of the principal administrators of the French Ministry of Culture’s policies within the realm of contemporary visual arts. It continually enriches the National Contemporary Art Collection, which it conserves and also promotes via loans and consignments to both French and foreign institutions. Comprising nearly 105,000 works acquired from living artists over the past two centuries, this extensive collection illustrates the variety of artistic movements and styles. An essential cultural entity, the Cnap encourages the arts in all their diversity, accompanying both artists and art-world professionals via various support services. Furthermore, it showcases its supported projects through different dissemination actions and events, notably publications, conferences and exhibitions.

Triangle-Astérides’ partnership with the Cnap for the exhibition En attendant Omar Gatlato evolved out of the curator’s curatorial research fellowship at the Centre in 2017. The Cnap is supporting two new commissioned artworks for the exhibition by Fayçal Baghriche and Sara Sadik which it will also acquire and through the loan of a number of works from its collection.

Box24 is an experimental arts organization founded by Walid Ai?doud in 2008 in Algiers that supports experimentation and international collaboration, in part through long-term involvement with ARTIfariti, an annual art festival held in Western Sahara in solidarity with the struggle of theSaharawi people. En attendant Omar Gatlato partnered with Box24 to widen the scope of the exhibition beyond established artists working in Algeria.

Triangle - Astérides is a 26 years old non-profit contemporary visual art organization based in “Friche la Belle de Mai”, a former tobacco factory in the center of Marseille, where it supports artists and serves diverse and expanding audiences. Triangle - Astérides develops a yearly program of exhibitions, public events, and new commissions, as well as highly respected residencies and studio programs dedicated to Marseille- based, French, and international artists; supporting artistic research, experimentation and production. Since its founding in 1994, it has established itself as one of France’s most innovative organizations supporting French and international artists who have not yet had wide public exposure or critical acceptance from a broader public, by establishing long-term relationships with them to collaborate in the development, production and presentation of significant new projects. In 26 years, the organization has hosted more than 600 artists in residence and produced more than 130 exhibitions, with a focus on equal representation, open debate, and multiple viewpoints regardless of gender, race, class, or creed. Rooted in its local context, Triangle - Astérides is a place of assertion of cultural rights, where audiences are appreciated for the singularity of their relation to art. As an active member of Triangle Network; an international network of over 90 arts organizations in 41 countries, it also underlines the positive value of transnational dialog, which constitutes the DNA of its project.