This groundbreaking exhibition is the artist’s first major solo show. Zineb Sedira’s work refers stylistically to traditions of documentary realism, French cinema verité and photographic representation and encompasses a variety of media including film, video, photography, writing and oral history. Born in Paris to Algerian parents in the 1960s, Sedira is part of the second generation of immigrants to France and the specificity of her personal geography is central to her artistic output. She explores the seeming paradox of having a European education whilst being brought up within a North African Muslim community. Her work sensitively questions this ‘paradox’ using spoken, written and visual narratives. The result is both reflective and interrogative. Telling stories with differences features new and recent works, including a new photographic triptych entitled Jinns. This photographic work shows a female figure from different perspectives, represented as a silhouette in reverse. Sedira is interested in Islamic codes of representation and how these have been appropriated by Western culture, or how they might be played out in this context. Mother Tongue is a three screen video installation, recalling the oral tradition of storytelling, passed along the matrilineal chain as a means of preserving cultural identity from one generation to the next. The piece explores translation within cultural identity, portraying three generations of women (a mother, a daughter and a grandmother). The participants each speak in their ‘mother tongue’ of Arabic, French or English. Intimate and moving, the diasporic exchange of these languages attempts to track a broken narrative between the artist’s daughter and mother who do not understand their respective spoken languages of English and Arabic. New works will include a three screen video projection entitled Mother, Father and I. The work adopts a documentary style referencing the Algerian war and concerns the transformation of Sedira’s parents from freedom fighters against French colonial rule to economic migrants in France. This represents a crucial point of disruption that exerts a strong influence over Sedira’s oeuvre. Sedira has exhibited widely across Europe, Middle East and the USA. Her work was shown at the 49th Venice Biennale and is in the current first ICP Triennial of Photography and Video in New York. She began making art in the mid 90’s whilst in London after completing studies at St Martins, the Slade and the Royal College of Art. The exhibitions will be on show at Leicester’s City Gallery 11 September – 6 November. The exhibition is supported by a National Touring rogramme award from the Arts Council of England, and a grant from the Henry Moore Foundation. Catalogue/DVD A limited edition catalogue featuring a selection of the artist’s single channel video works will be published by Cornerhouse in February. Look out for further info in the monthly brochure. Limited Edition Print A signed limited edition multiple of JINNS, archival quality, A1 size, suitable for framing, will be produced by Cornerhouse, and available for sale in the Gallery.
Main Gallery Spaces
Sat 10 Jan 2004 – Sun 22 Feb 2004
Artists: Zineb Sedira
Curators: Kathy Rae Huffman