Edition 2012

Mehdi Meddaci

My plastic work keeps its distance, staying on the level of the ‘poetic’ and bearing witness to its deep roots in Mediterranean space. It builds itself through successive strata, taking the form of devices or autonomous modules such as Corps Traversés (Pierced Bodies, 2007), Lancer une pierre (To throw a stone, 2008) or Sans-titre, Alger la blanche (Untitled, Alger la blanche, 2009), which allow photography, video and film to resonate with each other. Like a ‘sea surrounded by land’, everything is in the offset between sound and image, document and artifice, the sway of bodies and the pregnancy of landscapes. The editing gives rise to a desire, within the viewer, to deconstruct what we might rebuild, conferring importance on the potentiality of possible worlds. What is visible is carried by the odd sensation of missing something—a History, perhaps. I seek to reaffirm a continuity threatened to the point of extinction by altering the signifiers of appearance in this History. My images, whether metaphorical or literal, present us with a motif, a body submerged between two shores: people framed full-on yet absent at the same time, anchored in a strong décor and socio-political context while also being profoundly lost. Paradoxically, it’s in the act of waiting, with our backs to the wall, that the need for a crossing, for a return trip is the most tangible. Walls takes shape as a landscape, a territory. Gestures and situations, common aspects, form the context necessary for a story, for a spooling of time. It consists of an audio-visual installation played simultaneously on five screens accompanying the showing Tenir les murs (Hold the Walls), a film which is destined for a commercial cinema. Walls includes every scene and angle shot during filming. As it seeks obsessively to show the breakdown of fiction, the installation broadens vision and offers ellipses of certain sequences: a possible suicide, a pause by a blue bridge, a return by sea. All these sets together form the context necessary to create a ‘wall of signs’. The deconstruction of time (elapsed) reveals itself to be a flux, setting up the fragility of the true event: the inverted trajectory of exile superimposed on an image of Algiers.

Mehdi Meddaci

Sound mix of the installation by Raphäel Henard.
Exhibition venue: Forges, Parc des Ateliers.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture