Ermites, solo show – Galerie Shart Casablanca

Ermites, solo show – Galerie Shart Casablanca

Galerie Shart

Ermites – Solo show

Casablanca
– 14.10 – 20.11.2021

Intitulée « Ermites » l’exposition des travaux récents de l’artiste plasticien Yassine Balbzioui est essentiellement composée de peintures et d’une sculpture en bronze.

Ce titre paradoxal, un ermite par définition ne pouvant vivre que seul, est le résultat d’une réflexion de l’artiste sur l’idée utopique de vivre simultanément en ermite et collectivement, un regard philosophique en référence à ce monde d’aujourd’hui où les informations contradictoires sont constantes.

Yassine Balbzioui, Ermites, Galerie Shart, vue d'expo

Avec une palette de verts profonds traités comme un appel vers les grands espaces de dame Nature, Yassine Balbzioui invite, dans une veine néo-expressionniste, ses personnages à un huis clos à la fois psychodramatique et drôle.

Parfois adultes, parfois enfants, ces « Ermites » jouent et surjouent la partition d’une folie tranquille, responsables et irresponsables, seuls et ensembles, joyeux et mélancoliques, toujours silencieux et profondément touchants, peuplant un scénario imaginaire pensé par l’artiste comme la trame d’un film extravagant et intimiste, une suite dans la recherche constante et la réflexion de Yassine Balbzioui sur les solitudes de l’humain dans les sociétés contemporaines.

PRESSE

Yassine Balbzioui, Silent Tree, 2021

Olivier RACHET
article paru dans Diptyk, octobre 2021

« À Casablanca, Yassine Balbzioui conjure nos solitudes contemporaines »

« …Ils font ce qu’ils peuvent pour s’amuser et pour survivre. Peut-être ont-ils peur tout simplement de vivre ? », se demande Yassine Balbzioui à propos des trois personnages qu’il met en scène dans sa dernière exposition « Ermites ». Nous voici plongés dans une forêt post-apocalyptique, dans laquelle le peintre interroge le fondement de nos angoisses les plus archaïques. S’il doute que la période actuelle soit propice à l’humour, il n’en explore pas moins le grotesque de nos peurs quotidiennes. À l’instar de ce personnage quelque peu donquichottesque se faisant simplement attaquer par des papillons, ne serions-nous pas tous transis à l’idée de nous retrouver nez à nez avec autrui ? Tel est le paradoxe d’une époque où l’isolement a décuplé en chacun la crainte de se retrouver… »

https://www.diptykmag.com

Yassine Balbzioui, Silent Tree, 2021
Yassine Balbzioui, Silent Tree, 2021

Anis HAJJAM,
article paru dans L’Opinion, 31 octobre 2021

« Yassine Balbzioui, une solitude plurielle

« … L’habile plasticien investit jusqu’au 20 novembre l’espace de la galerie casablancaise Shart. Il y expose ses dernières réalisations teintées de remises en questions, parfumées d’humour. Il les nomme «Ermites» et les peint à corps perdu, privilégiant le vert… naturellement.
Une fraîcheur joyeusement sombre s’échappe des récentes toiles de l’artiste. Une sorte de manuscrit annoté à l’envi. Mieux : une prose défiant toute classification, privilégiant le phrasé chaloupé où un imaginaire intense se faufile entre les lignes d’une vie «normale» devenue caduque. Avec le scénario de la fin d’un monde et du début d’un autre, moins bruyant, plus exaltant d’incertitudes et de découvertes intérieures. Une introspection adoptant pour décors une certaine nature, le poumon en fête.

Des arbres qui foisonnent, intriguent, se tiennent à disposition, se jouent de la lumière qu’ils mettent parfois en scène, cajolent ou pourchassent l’intrus. Ici, pas de pénitence, pas d’avanie, la forêt comme seule prière. Trois personnages, séparés ou mis ensemble, vivent entre deux évènements, le premier fondateur et le second conclusif, la vie et la révérence de son rejeton. Et c’est là où l’ermite prend ses quartiers, loin de tout et proche de la félicité qu’il traque depuis sa conversion. Avec l’expectative comme croyance nodale… »

https://www.lopinion.ma/

Funny Games, solo show Kristin Hjellegjerde Berlin

Funny Games, solo show Kristin Hjellegjerde Berlin

Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery

Half Flying – Solo show

Berlin
– 09.08 – 11.09.2021

Amidst a verdant tropical landscape, a man sits astride an inflatable pink flamingo as if he were floating on a swimming pool and yet, there’s no water in sight. Mystery, deception and play are at the centre of Morocco-based artist Yassine Balbzioui’s surreal painted scenes. For his latest exhibition, Funny Games at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery Berlin, he presents a powerful new body of work that explores a curious liminal space between humour and danger, reality and dream.

 

The exhibition borrows its title from Austrian screenwriter and filmmaker Michael Haneke’s 1997 psychological thriller, which similarly to Balbzioui’s paintings, blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. In the film, two young men hold a family hostage and torture them with sadistic games in their holiday home, frequently breaking down the fourth wall by addressing the camera so that audience becomes witness. Although Balbzioui does not depict horror or violence, he is interested in how the torturers’ restlessness is linked to a certain nostalgia in the sense that their “games” mimic childlike behaviour. In the making of art, the artist seeks to also enter a childlike state that brings with it a greater level of creative freedom, innocence and excitement that’s then filtered through an adult perspective.

Significantly, many of Balbzioui’s subjects are depicted wearing masks, or their heads are replaced by circular shapes which resemble a bullseye or a large, singular eyeball. While the concealment of identity adds another layer of mystery to the works and relates, once again, to notions of performance and play, it is also an act of willful disruption; as an Afro-Arab artist, Balbzioui often finds himself reflecting on the expectations of the European gaze and deliberately avoids exoticism in his work. This is perhaps most obvious in the paintings entitled Red Horse I and Red Horse II which show a figure dressed in a tracksuit and trainers sitting on a playground toy horse. The artist invites us to find humour in an adult aping a child’s game, but there is also a mournfulness to the scene that connects back to nostalgia and the impossibility of reliving the past.

 

Balbzioui seeks to approach each painting with fresh eyes by playing with different artistic mediums and modes of investigation. To create the Red Horse paintings, for example, the artist built a model as a kind of stage set which he photographed and altered on Photoshop, before finally transferring the scene onto two canvases that show alternative perspectives. Similarly, the repetitive figures in the works entitled Three Accordions and Zebra Flowers were originally composed using Photoshop to evoke the idea of a digital glitch, which is then translated into the medium of painting. This layered process adds a sense of dynamism to the work, which is also felt through the rough, urgent brushstrokes and blurring of colours.

Balbzioui has said before that his paintings “are a resistance against the banality of the world” and in this sense, Funny Games is perhaps best understood and appreciated as a deliberate attempt to destabilise the image in order to access a more liberated creative experience for both artist and viewer.

https://kristinhjellegjerde.com

Moroccan Trilogy 1950-2020, Reina Sofia Museum

Moroccan Trilogy 1950-2020, Reina Sofia Museum

Moroccan Trilogy 1950-2020Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid - 31.03 - 27.09.2021

Curators: Manuel Borja-Villel and Abdellah Karroum

Yassine Balbzioui show a new mural « Fantazia », special intervention at Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.

Moroccan Trilogy 1950-2020 articulates a visual dialogue that reflects artistic production at three historical moments from independence to the present day. It does so through a significant selection of artworks that show the diversity of initiatives, the vitality of artistic debate and the interdisciplinary exchanges to be found in Morocco.

An initiative of: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Government of Spain, and National Foundation of Museums of the Kingdom of Morocco

With the collaboration of: Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art – Qatar Museums and Qatar Foundation

Yassine-Balbzioui-Reina-Sofia-Trilogie-marocaine
Yassine-Balbzioui-Reina-Sofia-Trilogie-marocaine
Le Port : À la croisée des Histoires, Manifesta 13

Le Port : À la croisée des Histoires, Manifesta 13

Manifesta 13 - Traits d'union.s !Le Port : À la croisée des HistoiresCentre Bourse, Marseille - 11.09 - 29.11.2020

Yassine Balbzioui présente « Ghostline », une installation de sept tapis dans l’enceinte du centre commercial.

Le Port : À la croisée des Histoiresexplore certaines des conséquences politiques d’une narration sélective de l’Histoire. Les objets et récits officiels du Musée d’Histoire de Marseille se mêlent aux conversations et aux souvenirs des habitants pour, ensemble, dessiner les contours d’une ville au territoire hybride, véritable carrefour culturel.

« À l’occasion de Manifesta 13 Marseille, le Centre Bourse accueille hors-les-murs l’un des chapitres de l’exposition centrale de Manifesta 13 Traits d’union.s : Le Port : à la croisée des histoires qui explore les diverses histoires de la ville. »

Wild Garden, Kristin Hjellegjerde, London

Wild Garden, Kristin Hjellegjerde, London

Kristin Hjellegjerde GalleryWild GardensLondon - 05.09 - 05.10.2019

A masked man wearing a suit holds a sunflower over a black hole, whilst a line of men holding spades watch in the distance, their faces obscured by floral balaclavas. We wonder: is this man planting the flower, burying or stealing? Is this a ceremony, a dream, a nightmare? ‘Spy Flower’ is just one of the surreal scenes that Morocco-based artist Yassine Balbzioui presents in his latest exhibition entitled Wild Gardens at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery London. 

Mystery is at the centre of Balbzioui’s artistic practise; each painting is layered with narrative possibility, provoking the viewer to continue the creative process with their own imagination. Balbzioui typically works from an archive of collected images, film stills, travel photography and portraits that he takes of subjects wearing costumes and masks.‘The mask is a way of protecting the self, but it is also a tool for performance and play,’ commented the artist. Notably, all of the figures in this latest body of work are either wearing masks that reveal only their eyes, or appear to be hiding behind various objects. The effect is as humorous as it is disconcerting. ‘Bad Disguise’, for example, depicts a figure wearing a tutu skirt and what looks like swimming goggles, an image that is imbued with innocent childhood theatrics, whilst the recurring figures of masked suited men possess darker undertones.

This tension between danger and play is another key theme in the artist’s work, and one that draws parallels with the tradition of fairy tales. This is most evident in Balbzioui’s series of round paintings. The curved canvases, reminiscent of portholes, provide portraits of curious, fantastical characters such as ‘Zebra Man’whose face is made up of a bull’s-eye circular pattern, or the spectral figure of ‘Le Jongleur’ who is depicted juggling three giant pairs of scissors. Both these characters are simultaneously playful and unnerving in their suggestion of literal or potential mutilation. Standing in front of the paintings, you are struck by the sense of spying on something secret and otherworldly. 

‘The forest is a silent space where we can do wild things, where we can be animals,’ said Balbzioui, commenting on the exhibition’s title which takes its name from the predominant background scenery in these paintings. At times, the artist’s characters appear deep within a blanket of green, whilst at others, the forest looms behind them. We might recall Grimms’ fairy tales that often involve a journey into the woods, a place of unknown dangers and yet, as Balbzioui comments, forests also provide space for exploration, contemplation and possibility. Analysing the imagery of forests in literature psychologist Carl Jung commented that they’re ‘essentially culturally elaborated representations of the contents of the deepest recesses of the human psyche.’ In this context, we can understand Balbzioui’s lush, green setting and surreal scenes as a visual projection of the artist’s unconscious mind. Indeed, the artist describes his practise as spontaneous, insisting that the final outcome is always a ‘surprise’. 

It is this sense of uncovering that is so seductive about the work. The images appear familiar, whilst continually denying the satisfaction of full recognition ‘All of my paintings are a resistance against the banality of the world, against the speed of things,’ commented Balbzioui. Whilst we are bombarded with imagery in our everyday lives, Balbzioui’s work provides an escape, a pause and most importantly, the provocation to be curious.

Yassine Balbzioui Hiding with love, 2018
Solo show « MAD » Iwalewahaus Museum

Solo show « MAD » Iwalewahaus Museum

IwalewahausYassine Balbzioui: MADBayreuth, Germany - 07.06 - 07.09.2019

It is good relationships with an institution that is important for artistic freedom, emphasizes Yassine Balbzioui, the performance and multi-media artist living in Marrakech, Morocco, over and over again. The collaboration with Yassine Balbzioui has existed for several years and covers various forms such as performance workshops with young people, porcelain objects with the Bayreuth-based factory Valkyrie and the production of the opera Ghost Flowers at the Richard Wagner Museum in 2018. Enabled by the Freundeskreis Iwalewahaus eV Yassine Balbzioui created in 2017 a large mural for the Iwalewahaus as Kunst am Bau, which stretches across the second and third floors of the staircase.
For the first time, an exhibition will give a comprehensive overview of the diverse work of Yassine Balbzioui and bring his cosmology to life. We show the entire work with the University and City of Bayreuth in the last eight years. The diversity of themes in Balbziouis’ work comes to the fore. For one thing is important in the work in addition to the extraordinary visionary and bold quality of artistic work: The absolute freedom and accessibility of his presentations to the public. This is what makes Yassine Balbzioui so captivating: the dissolution of unnecessary categories shared sensual experience and social relevance.

Curation: Katharina Fink & Nadine Siegert
Curation Assistance: Huriye Şahin

Yassine-Balbzioui-MAD-IwalewaHaus