In Waha (“oasis” in Arabic), former engineer and self-taught photographer Seif Kousmate considers his home country, Morocco, and puts his own practice into question to explore the artistic side of photography. Once agricultural hotbeds, trade hubs, and biosphere reserves, oases suffer from the overexploitation of their raw materials and are devastated by cycles of drought. Their surface area is progressively decreasing. Discouraged, the current generation is deserting them. The artist feels affected by this transformation. To express in a subtle way the degradation of these once fertile areas, he stains his images with acid and corrupts them using remnants of the local flora. Thus, content and form, subject and materiality merge to question issues of representation. Both in the photographer’s art and at the surface of the image, poetry and politics flicker, to tell the story of the ecological, economic and social reality of today’s oases.
Commissaire de l’exposition : Taous Dahmani.