Working primarily in sculpture and photography, artist Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni considers the physical and psychological landscape. With distinct poetics, he creates concise forms that reflect on experiences both personal and societal. Referring to scenes of fatality that exist all too often in the everyday – of burial sites, of illicit actions, and of ritual slaughter – Rahmouni describes to us a reality of mortality and sacrifice. Simple yet pensive, his forms are in a state of flux – ‘ready-made’ sculptures look hand-crafted, hand-crafted objects appear ready-made, and images float between mournfulness and optimism.
As an artist making work at a formative period of his career, Rahmouni’s exhibition at M HKA offers a configuration of a key selection of his existing works in dialogue with new. Sculptural images and objects stand in quiet reflection. His new large-scale photographic work, The Front Line (2021), also adopted here as the title of his exhibition, depicts an improvised graveyard in the barren coastal borderlands in the Sahara. Its solemnity further reverberating through existing sculptural works such as Looking for Truth (2016) – a minimalist-design oak chair, the seat of which is a single sheet of glass with the archetypal form of a bottle at its centre – itself a meditation on pre-meditated attacks on those considered as dissenters.
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