I have been invited for a long residency research in Marseille, France, which is considered as a twin sister to Algiers because of all the historical, geographical and social elements they share.
This was for me an excellent opportunity to extend my horizons, and find a natural continuation to my work on Algiers.
For this project, I revisit my own creative process, and explore archives, maps, cartographies to interrogate the urban memory of Marseille, and realize a new installation.
As a starting point, I explore the work of 2 architects that worked a lot on Algiers and Marseille : Le Corbusier and Fernand Pouillon.
The latter realized 3 ‘grands ensembles’ that are very emblematic of Algiers and Marseille and appear like a common heritage for both cities. I want to “cut” a fragment of these buildings and “transport” it to Marseille. I work on the metaphor of the displaced, the deported, the skinned……joining the history of the two countries where millions of persons faced unfortunate destinies.
As a first chapter, I realized the video installation "A Peculiar Family Album" based on extracts from the personal archive of Jacques Chevallier, the former mayor of Algiers (1953-1958) who appointed Fernand Pouillon as his architect-in-chief. I found those images to be a precious material to explore a key-period in the architectural, social and political history of Algiers.
I am currently working on the second part of the project which is based on the exploration of the urban archives of the city of Marseille and will culminate by a solo show in Galerie des Grands Bains-douches de la Plaine, Marseille on november 2013.