Zineb Sedira, Identity and transmission

The meeting with Zineb Sedira was fixed at the Jean-Vigo cinema in Gennevilliers, in the Paris suburbs. Presenting your project for the French pavilion for the next Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art in such a place takes on its full meaning. ” It was important for the project to start here, in Gennevilliers”, underlines the artist. It was to a cinema in the same town, which has now disappeared, that his father took him as a child to discover peplums, spaghetti westerns and other cinematographic treasures that fed his imagination. She has retained a taste for images, videos and photographs that she uses extensively in her work as an artist. Because it is indeed a family story that conditions the approach of Zineb, whose parents arrived in France in 1961, and which places transmission at the heart of his work. already testified Mother Tongue in 2002, a video installation where the word was exchanged from mother to daughter over three generations, recalling that identity is a central and personal concern, so much the artist, her mother and her daughter weaved a link in three languages: l Arabic, English and French. Family history is also what attaches her to Algeria, a strong link with Aria (Artist Residency in Algiers), a structure she founded in 2011 to support contemporary creation in the territory. Algerian.

another job, The space of a momentexhibited in 2019 at the Tennis Museum (Photo), projected during the presentation of the Venetian project, is also deliberately summoned. Representing a living room decorated with history, furniture, objects, the installation then functioned as a space of conviviality and exchange where the visitor could interact, where the cinema, in the form of posters, asserted already dear to the heart of the artist.

About the work that will represent France at the Venice Biennale, Zineb and his three collaborators, Yasmina Reggad, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, eminent animators of the contemporary art scene, are careful not to reveal too much. Dreams have no title – this is the name of this installation – advances with the desire to make a movie about movies » by plunging into the history of militant cinema from the 1960s and 1970s which saw strong links between producers and directors from Algeria, Italy and France. A real work of research has been organized in the three countries, to bring to light the vestiges of this common artistic past. Identity, transmission, exchange and empathy will once again be brought together within the framework of the French Pavilion. Personal story and great history will be mixed to better draw the contours of a common future.


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