Open Space #10 Lydia Ourahmane

Exhibition From 07.10.2022 to 27.02.2023

© Lydia Ourahmane

For Open Space #10, Lydia Ourahmane (1992, Algeria) presents Tassili (2022), a film shot in Tassili n’Ajjer. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this exceptional mountainous region of the central Sahara Desert extends across 72,000 km²/ 27,799 mi² and is filled with thousands of rock engravings and cave paintings that bear witness to humans, animals, and vegetation that thrived, evolved, and disappeared in the area before climate change transformed it into a desert.

Lydia Ourahmane. Tassili (extrait), 2022

© Lydia Ourahmane

After a first scouting trip, Lydia Ourahmane embarked on a 13-day journey with a team of collaborators, friends, and local guides, accompanied by twenty donkeys. The group explored the immensity of this arid plateau, experiencing the hostile conditions of this difficult to access territory due to military and governmental restrictions. The night and day images of this lunar landscape and its millenia-old paintings shot in 4K, a digital technology qualified as ultra-high definition are striking in their hyperrealism—questioning the potential for this vertiginous, hypnotic wandering to capture an encounter with a place filled with history and spirituality.

She invites the viewer to immerse themselves, while simultaneously being guided. Digital animations appear sporadically, created from 3D scans made with an iPhone on location, “heightening the integrity of the image and its desire to reproduce experience,” as the artist said. The film is structured by a four-part soundtrack, entrusted to four musicians—Nicolás Jaar, felicita, Yawning Portal, Sega Bodega—scored as an exquisite corpse. The film Tassili offers a hallucinatory experience, an original quest with mystical overtones that propels us into a visual and sonic journey beyond time. 

For the first European presentation of her new film, Lydia Ourahmane has designed a specific device for the Gallery 8 where the viewer is immersed in a highly immersive sensory experience.

Lydia Ourahmane, Tassili (2022) is commissioned and produced by SculptureCenter, New York; Rhizome, Algiers; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis; Mercer Union, Toronto; et Nottingham Contemporary. Tassili is made possible by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter (VNXXSC). Commissioning support is provided by VIA Art Fund. The film will be presented in various institutions during the years 2022 and 2023.

Initiated by Ludovic Delalande and Claire Staebler

Download the interview of the artist


Claudia Buizza et Ludovic Delalande

The artist

Lydia Ourahmane

Lydia Ourahmane (1992, Saïda, Algeria) lives and works between Algiers and Barcelona. Spanning video, sound, performance, installation, sculpture, Lydia Ourahmane's multidisciplinary work is imbued with spirituality, contemporary geopolitics, colonial histories, and migration. Drawing on personal and collective experiences and narratives, the artist questions institutional structures such as surveillance, logistics and bureaucratic processes, and the way they exercise authority.

Amongst her recent exhibitions: Barzakh, S.M.A.K, Ghent (2022); Tassili, SculptureCenter, New York (2022), Survival in the afterlife, Portikus, Franckfurt, et De Appel, Amsterdam (2021); Barzakh, Kunsthalle Basel et Triangle–Astérides, Marseille (2021); Solar Cry, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2020); et The you in us, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2018). Son travail a été exposé à la 34ème Biennale de São Paulo (2021) et à la Triennale du New Museum (2018). Avec Alex Ayed, elle a présenté LAWS OF CONFUSION, Renaissance Society, Chicago (2021) ainsi que Risquons Tout, WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels (2020).

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