From 25 January to 22 March 2015, Selma Feriani Gallery hosts HABBA-ZAYTŪNA, a solo exhibition by Moroccan artist Younès Rahmoun.
In installation, drawings, photography, video and performance, Younès Rahmoun explores a variety of mediums. He has developed in recent years a polymorphic practice intrinsically linked to his spiritual journey seated at the intersection of Eastern philosophy and Islamic mysticism.
This exhibition is an opportunity to show his former and recent works developed around notions of work, environment and tradition.
The title condenses both the aesthetic vocabulary and the recurring concerns in the creations of Younès Rahmoun. Habba means the seed in a latent state. As a motif of predilection for the artist, it appears in his drawings on paper and in Habba video animation that reproduces his journey in search of the ideal site of germination. Zaytuna is the olive present in the later works of the artist. This rapprochement between the seed and the fruit is reminiscent of the metaphor of the crust and the core handed down by tradition. The rind symbolizes the surface meaning, the kernel stands for the hidden meaning of an Epiphany accessible only through personal labour and effort.
The combination of the two terms may also evoke “an olive seed”. A third level of meaning is therefore possible, opening on a dialectical relationship between the two elements. The seed represents the genesis while the olive is the close. In between, the organic cycle involves moving, travel, progression subsuming the plastic and spiritual approach of Younès Rahmoun.
Indeed, in 2014, the artist went to the island of Djerba for a series of works created around the triad of earth – stone – olive. The series includes the video of a vibrating olive tree, three earthenware plates, each marked by a drawing (a house, a stone and a boat), the performance Hijra / Rif-Jerba-Rif, materialized by photography and drawing . During this performance, the artist collects five stones from a Moroccan Rif beach to deposit them in an olive grove in Djerba, and there too, gets the same number of stones that he subsequently transports on the beach of the Rif.
Finally, there is the installation of ten terracotta columns called Jamur which refers to 77 branches or acts of faith as reported in the Hadith. Each column is made up of a finite number of pieces whose shape is reminiscent of pottery used in octopus fishing. It is maintained vertically by means of an electrical cable that traverses the different parts and vehicles the light towards the ground. Once again, the artist transcends the apparent dichotomies and creates a dynamic between top and bottom joined by a set of parts arranged one after the other, reminiscent of the numerous stops that punctuate the original route of Younès Rahmoun.