Mon cœur s’attache à ces âmes fragiles
In an attempt to look at one’s trajectory, Berirouche Feddal turns the gaze towards oneself by exposing the complexities that surround family relations, personal identity and homeland. Taking the binding of Isaac as a starting point, the work asks us to reflect on the notion of “sacrifice”. Placing this term under more contemporary times, it can be interpreted within the realms of cancel culture whereby one is rejected for his opinions; when the group is displeased. He places himself as one of Édouard Manet’s – Olympia and Titian – Vénus d’Urbin figures in a room full of beds that he shares with his extended family, positioning himself as both the sacrificed son and the one who is still sacrificing.
Born to Algerian parents who arrived in Canada via Air Algérie, Berirouche draws powerful parallels between his own migration and that of his social circle, the experience of the Harraga. This latter form of migration is represented by guest artist Abdullah Rahmani, who was forced to resort to illegal immigration through makeshift boats. Between Berirouche and Abdullah, the goal remains the same: to reach a shore with the hope of finding refuge.
In this exhibition, Algeria enters a state of flux while embodying a familiar and an alienating place at the same time. A place where one attends a wedding but also a place where gas jars are stored. Comfort and tension become a home’s main component.
An other aspect of an estranged home is colonization. Berirouche Feddal critically engages with the attempts of seduction emerging from the colonized people. In reappropriating French fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, the work becomes a portrait of the cultural infrastructure set by years of colonization. Using fabrics that are found traditional seen at the souk, Feddal sheds away from the desire of wanting to seduce the other and remind us of the importance to value the richness of what a country holds. Mon cœur s’attache à ces âmes fragiles is a proposal for a reconciliation emerging from a dialogue that is deemed to persist.
Alexis Boulianne et Ariane Labrèche
Abdullah in Lesbos