Exhibition Dates: 25th February – 25th March 2023
Private View : Friday 24th February 2023, 18:00 - 21:00
P21 Gallery is proud to present Changing Track, a group exhibition presenting works by Samir Laghouati-Rashwan, Randa Maroufi, Rayane Mcirdi, Valentin Noujaïm and Sara Ouhaddou. Exploring the notions of daydream, change and im/mobility, the show features video and stained glass works, two mediums that function through an interplay between light and surface; traversing, transformed, absorbed or bouncing back, the rays draw straight or deviated trajectories. Dealing with the construction of self, contemporary social realities, and the intertwining of history, the works on display offer singular perspectives on the unexpected connections between hindrance and movement, constraint and transformation, preservation and vanishing lines – connections that elaborate the layering of spaces in time, and of time in space.
In La Modification (1957) – in English, Changing Track – Michel Butor tells the story of a character whose plans change as he travels by train from Paris to Rome. The novel shows how the process of moving through space and time alters the character’s thoughts, perceptions and perspectives. An investigation in itself, the narrative line intertwines several scales: memories and projections, impressions of a landscape unfolding through the window, assumptions about fellow travelers, observations of repetitive patterns. A chronotope, La Modification allows us to think of time’s greatest contradiction – as marked both by the linear succession of past, present and future, and by their simultaneous production through memory, consciousness and anticipation. Perhaps this is why the notion of ‘circulation’ designates as much the gesture of going from one point to another, as a movement that folds back on its point of departure.
Using Butor’s novel as a conceptual backbone rather than a thematic inspiration, Changing Track seeks to bring together a variety of contemporary approaches. Some artists are interested in the histories of artifacts, goods, and practices that have passed (and transformed) through different contexts: Sara Ouhaddou’s stained glass work Al Kalima shows how total transformation is the byproduct of a slow gradation proceeding throughout a series of close (or infinitesimally different) states; Samir Laghouati-Raswhan’s film Quinquina Diaspora seeks to strip the historical gaze of its anthropomorphic filter to better reveal the memorial load of objects, thus linking materiality and immateriality. Other works question what defines and expresses a given space. It can be de jure an enclave, as in Bab Sebta by Randa Maroufi, where the characters evolve by the quasi-choreographed operation of a movement whose loops seem to draw the fence. It can be an unsuspected place, swallowed up in time and space (that of the undergrounds of La Défense), but whose ghost returns to haunt today’s area, via a testimonial voice, in Défense : Volume 1 by Valentin Noujaïm. Or it can be, in Le Croissant de feu by Rayane Mcirdi, a space that has lost its emblem (is it crown or fetters, a sign of anchorage or blockage?) and is superimposed by a space to dream, itself blending possible elsewheres; a spatiotemporal stack drawing an interzone where desire for freedom and reality check lightly brush.
Curated by: Estelle Marois
Graphic design: Walid Bouchouchi / Studio Akakir
Set design: Leïla Arenou
Generously supported : Arts Council England and Fluxus Art Projects
For further exhibition information, press images and interview opportunities, please contact:
Estelle Marois, email: email@example.com, or P21 Gallery, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. 020 7121 6190
Born in 1992 in Arles. Lives and works in Marseille.
Samir Laghouati-Rashwan is a French-Egyptian artist who graduated from the École supérieure d'art & de design Marseille-Méditerranée, Marseille, FR.
In his practice, Laghouati-Rashwan seizes upon small objects masquerading as mundane, quotidian, contemporary and above all apolitical. A tonic bottle or a tracksuit rolled up at the ankle. Shopping trolleys and caravan car windows. The work that he develops around these objects however undermines their claim to be anodyne; they become bearers of colonial histories and geopolitical complexes. Revealing the violent histories lodged in such commodities or customs is not moralising; rather, his work softly peels away their ‘naturalised’ state and discloses something with both wry humour and dead seriousness. His collages, films, installations, found objects and images often tend towards sparseness, a mere invitation for the spectator too to pursue the associated histories of that which is depicted or represented. -Jessica Saxby-
Recent solo presentations include: in 2023, On vous voit, Festival Parallèle, Marseille, FR; in 2022, Material Witness, Eliane project, Bordeaux, FR; Art-o-rama, Marseille, FR. Recent group presentations include: in 2022, Around Video, Lille, FR; in 2021, Hijack City, Galerie de la SCEP, Marseille, FR; Sur pierres brûlantes, Triangle-Astérides, Marseille, FR; Les Chichas de la pensée, Magasins Généraux, Pantin, FR; Diaspora at Home, Fondation Kadist, Paris, FR. Upcoming presentations include: Les Chichas de la pensée, Ballet national, Marseille, FR; Tu cross ?, PERFORMANCE, Commande photographique nationale, Centre national des arts plastiques, Marseille/Sérignan, FR; as well as a residency programme at Centre d'art contemporain, Châteauvert, FR.
Born in 1987 in Casablanca. Lives and works in Paris.
Randa Maroufi is a graduate of the Institut National des Beaux Arts, Tetouan, MA (2010) and the École des Beaux-Arts, Angers, FR (2013). She also earned a diploma from Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Tourcoing, FR (2015). Maroufi has been Artist Member of Academy of France in Madrid at Casa de Velázquez, ES (2017-2018).
Belonging to the generation that grew up in an era dominated by image, she collects them with as much eagerness as suspicion, and ceaselessly questions their veracity. She prefers to put her ambiguous fictions in the service of reality, and the field of her experimentation encompasses the occupation of public space and gender issues, of which she highlights the founding mechanisms.
Her recent group exhibitions include: Biennale de Lyon (2022); Museo de Reina Sofía, Madrid, ES (2021); New Museum, NY, US (2020); MA Museum, Quebec, CA (2019); Biennale de Dakar, SN (2018); Sharjah Biennial, LB (2017); International Film Festival, Rotterdam, NL (2016); African Photography Meeting, Bamako, ML (2015); the Marrakech Biennale, MA (2014).
She has received a number of awards for her films Le Park (2015) and Bab Sebta (2019).
Born in 1993 in Asnières. Lives and works in Paris.
A graduate of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, FR (2019) after studying at the École des Beaux-Arts, Angers, FR, Rayane Mcirdi produces video works that sit in-between documentary and fiction. Actors are family members or close friends, filmed at home or in places that are familiar to them. His films capture intimate or collective events rooted in daily life. The videographer becomes an ethnographer who collects these micro-stories. At the invitation of Zineb Sedira, Mcirdi is currently working on a new film dedicated to Chibanis (‘white hair’ in dialectal Arabic): elderly immigrant workers who came to France under the 1960s state migration programmes.
Mcirdi presented solo exhibitions: in 2022, Le Début de la fin, Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris, FR; in 2021 at Galerie Édouard-Manet, Gennevilliers, FR. He has participated in several group presentations: in 2023, Prospectif cinéma, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; in 2021, 100% l'EXPO, curated by Inès Geoffroy, La Villette, Paris, FR; in 2019, Désolé, curated by Mohamed Bourouissa, Galerie Édouard-Manet, Gennevilliers, FR; Écuries Nord, curated by Clément Cogitore, Centquatre, Paris, FR; in 2018, Par amour du jeu, curated by Anna Labouze and Keimis Henni, Magasins Généraux, Pantin, FR; La Fureur du Dragon, curated by Mohamed Bourouissa, Centre Pompidou, 2018, Paris, FR. Current presentations include: De leur temps (7) – Un regard sur les collections privées françaises, Frac Grand Large — Hauts-de-France, Dunkirk, FR; Nouveaux Hérauts, curated by Audrey Illouz and Luca Avanzini, Centre culturel Jean Cocteau, Les Lilas, FR. Mcirdi is represented by Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris, FR.
Born in 1991 in France. Lives and works in Frankfurt.
Born in France to Lebanese and Egyptian parents, Valentin Noujaïm is a graduate in political science of the Institut d’études politiques, Lille, FR (2015) and in screenwriting of La Fémis, Paris, FR (2020). Noujaïm’s work focuses on three axes: anti-racist movements, spatial utopias, and the disappearance of communities and individuals. He brings to life marginal and strange characters, in fantasized universes inspired by the genre of tale, while relying on a research on formats, by mixing DV, 16mm, digital and special effects. Marked by social and post-colonial issues, his work questions the relationships of power and domination that are at stake in French society, through the prism of a strong ideal: revolutionary love or the love of revolution.
Noujaïm took part in several group exhibitions: in 2022, Salon de Montrouge, curated by Guillaume Désanges and Coline Davenne, Montrouge, FR; Prix Utopi·e, Magasins généraux, Pantin, FR; Festival Parallèle, Marseille, FR; in 2021, The Self and the Other, curated by Barbara Matas Moris, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; festival Aflam, MUCEM, Marseille, FR. Currently completing a residency at Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, DE, Noujaïm was formerly a resident at Artagon, Marseille, FR (2022), and will attend a residency programme at Académie de France à Rome — Villa Médicis, Rome, IT (2023) and at Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, FR (2023). He is writing his first feature film, The Night of Queens.
His films received support from prestigious funding organisations, such as the Doha Film Institute, AFAC, CNAP and CNC. They were selected for several festivals, such as Festival international du cinéma de Nyon, CH, DocLisboa, PT, and CPH:DOX, Copenhagen, DK
Born in 1986 in Draguignan. Lives and works in Paris and Marrakech.
Craftsmanship and traditional cultures deeply inspire the work of Sara Ouhaddou. By way of illustration, she has developed a special relationship with craftsmen and craftswomen, like embroiderers or master glassmakers, who reinterpret their ancestral techniques to produce singular objects. She also addresses the challenges faced by these communities and explores how art can be used as an instrument for economic, social and cultural change. The Arabic language, too, is an important theme in her work, as she expands Arabic letters into abstract symbols, transforming them into a language of their own.
Solo exhibitions include: in 2021, Je te rends ce qui m’appartient, tu me rends ce qui t’appartient, Galerie Polaris, Paris (FR); in 2017, Wasalnalilo/On en est arrivé là, Galerie Polaris, Paris (FR). Recent group presentations include: in 2022, Warché, curated by Anissa Touati, Fondation Thalie, Brussels (BE), Les Êtres lieux, curated by Élodie Royer, Maison de la culture du Japon, Paris (FR), LOVE – Marrakech Opened My Eyes to Color – Yves Saint Laurent, Palácio Cadaval, Evora (PT). Ouhaddou completed several residency programmes, among which Iaspis, Stockholm (SE); Art Explora – Cité internationale des arts, Paris (FR), Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille (FR), Appartement 22, Rabat (MA). She is currently a resident at Villa Albertine, Houston/Los Angeles (US) to work on a comparative study of the social and political uses of the star symbol in the Arab world and in North America.
Born in 1987 in Paris. Lives and works in Paris and London.
A graduate in French at La Sorbonne, Paris (FR), as well as in psychoanalysis and in science and technology studies at UCL, London (UK), Estelle Marois worked at the Éditions du Seuil, Paris (FR), the French Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and Nicoletti, London (UK). Independent curatorial projects include the programming of live events as part of Nikki Agency with Les Bains, Paris (2018) and Art Night, London (2019), producing podcasts on art and psychology for Stillpoint Spaces (2020), editing a collective photography book, The Same Moon Above Us. A Tunisian Tale (2021), and the organisation of two contemporary art exhibitions at Nicoletti, London: not before it has forgotten you, with Caroline Drevait, and total climate (2022).
Generously supported : Arts Council England and Fluxus Art Projects