Nidhal Chamekh | Les rencontres de Bamako | Group Show

© Copyright, 2019, Les rencontres De Bamako

"Each slide unfolds another portrait revealing faces of soldiers form Mali, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Senegal who fought in the French army during the Second World War against the German. In 1945, when the world was celebrating peace, the four countries mentioned above were still colonized by the French, and the African soldiers who shed their blood for a country where they never been before, are already long forgotten. The artist has taken these photos from the French magazine Le miroir, founded in 1910.

The carousel turns and the slides keep passing, but our memory is not refreshed; most of these faces are still anonymous. Justice can’t be done and the never-ending loop reminds us of that. Yet the drawings resist this acceptance. The faces are drawn carefully, following each line on the skin. The artist must have started so long ago on these faces, that now temporality changed, the hand of the artist is involved and the attention is distorted. The drawing carries a cut; in fact, the face is divided and is completed by the drawing of the face of another soldier.

Representation is canceled and that is the only justice possible. The hybrid image resists its own memory and yet it does not forget. This way of complicating our gaze, creating almost a strabism, where we can’t look at one face without looking at another, is a way to say that what happened lingers forever and merges with what is going on today. Each fight carries the voices of the past and the coming ones, and there is no way to grasp the force of these entanglement."

Les rencontres de Bamako


Exhibition dates

30.11. 2019 to 31.01.2020

Bamako, Mali

30 November 2019
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