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L’appartement 22,
279 avenue Mohamed V,
MA-10000 Rabat,
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Comment on Younès RAHMOUN’s "Ghorfa"
by Abdellah Karroum

mercredi 13 juin 2007

Younès Rahmoun Al-Ana/Huna (Now/Here) 2005-2006 Installation, 185 x 214 x 236 cm. Courtesy L’appartement 22, Rabat (Morocco).

Younès Rahmoun, born in 1975 in Morocco, is one the most regarded Moroccan artists of his generation. He is part of a generation of artists that question societal problems considering art in a global context where what happens anywhere in world concerns the entire world.

In 1998, while he was still a student at the Institute of Fine Arts of Tétouan, Rahmoun was invited to participate in the exhibition L’Objet Désorienté (The Disoriented Object), organized by Jean-Louis Froment at the Museum of Decorative Arts (Musée des arts décoratifs) in Paris and at the Villa of the Arts (Villa des arts) in Casablanca. The Disoriented Object is the first exhibition of Rahmoun outside Morocco. From this moment on he began constructing work in vast spaces, larger than those of the art school and his studio.

For the Singapore Biennial, Rahmoun proposed an experimental project entitled Now/Here (Al-Ana/Huna). The project begins in a special space/time, this one in the ghorfa (room), where the artist has worked in for many years in the family house in Tétouan. The ghorfa is a type of studio, situated under the stairway, where Rahmoun has preferred to work since 1998 with the agreement of his mother. At the beginning, Rahmoun conceives and draws his projects in the ghorfa before realizing them in exhibition spaces. In 2003 the artist envisioned giving his space a new function and new uses, where the ghorfa would become an architectural and sculptural space that can be opened and offered to others.

In 2005, Rahmoun decided to rebuild a space of work and meditation to the dimensions of the ghorfa and make it available to the public. The work is activated by inviting the public to use the space in any manner they wish. Rahmoun proposes this space to be for all people who want to make a place for work, exhibition, and meditation. "Here" and "now" designate the place and the time of the action as performance and not a pre-established form of the work. In this reproduction of a duplicate of his studio (the ghorfa) we are able to see his concern for the symmetry that is present in Arabic arts and sciences. With this project, Rahmoun gives his studio to the public in exchange for a moment of their time.

(text by Abdellah Karroum, translated from french by Amy Horschak)

* The project Al-Ana/Huna (Now/Here) is developed at L’appartement 22 and other places : Singapore Biennial in 2006 ; at Synesthésie in 2007 ; MultiPistes in 2007-2008.