aria presented a new site-specific installation by Algerian artist Amina Menia at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2013 (Somerset House, London, 16th-20th October 2013). In this immersive installation, viewers are invited to walk the sloping streets of the historic Casbah and the picturesque alleys of this emblematic neighbourhood in the city of Algiers. By deconstructing the cinematic codes used by filmmaker Julien Duvivier in the studios of legendary film noir Pépé le Moko, Menia’s settings, mise-en-scène, lighting and props offer a fictional visit, uncovering little-known aspects of this unique architectural vernacular. The piece also points at the conventions developed by colonial cinema and confront what was once the native neighbourhood of French colonial Algiers with its now-threatened heritage.
Sketches of Algiers 1 was commissioned by aria and curated by curator Yasmina Reggad.
Download Yasmina Reggad’s essay on Sketches of Algiers 1 here.
About artist Amina Menia
Amina Menia lives and works in Algiers. Her work questions the relationship between architectural and historical spaces, and challenges conventional notions around the exhibition space. Her artworks are a crossover of sculpture and installation, triggering interaction from onlookers with socio-spatial configurations. Amina has showed her work both nationally and internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art in Algiers, Cornerhouse in Manchester, Museum of Contemporary Art in Leon, Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, National Museum of Carthage in Tunis, Sharjah Bienniale in the UAE and Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille.
Amina Menia | Sketches of Algiers 1
16th – 20th October 2013, 10.00 – 18.00
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
****** Other events to mark aria (artist residency in algiers)‘s participation in 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair ******
Amina Menia in conversation with Dr Anthony Downey on 18th October 2013, 9.00 – 10.30 at Iniva – Institute of International Visual Arts
Younès Rahmoun and Kapwani Kiwanga on 17th and 18th October 2013 12.00 – 13.00 at 1:54 FORUM, Somerset House
Zineb Sedira in conversation with Koyo Kouoh, hosted by Christine Eyene on 18th October 2013, 13.30 – 14.30 at 1:54 FORUM, Somerset House
‘Discover Algiers’ with Amina Menia, focus group on 21st October 2013 at the Art Fund
Thanks to the support of Arts Council England