Zineb Sedira, a career shaped by three countries
Zineb Sedira's career follows an itinerary formed by three countries: France, the country where she was born and raised, Algeria, her parents' country of origin, and England, the country where she lives. As in her iconic work Mother Tongue, a film installation created in 2002, in her personal and artistic career, she embodies a complex cartography of Europe and Africa.
Born in Gennevilliers, Zineb Sedira spent her childhood there marked by the development of her passion for cinema and learning about cultural difference, its diversity and its problems. In 1986, she left to study in England and has lived there ever since. It was here that she developed an autobiographical work based on her vast heritage, around questions of identity and individual and collective memories. In 2002, she was invited to Algeria on a professional basis for the first time, which marked an important stage in her artistic work.
For several years now, her work has shifted from a memorial approach linked to her family history to more universal questions, by broadening the colonial question to that of economic and human flows, and more broadly to that of the circulation of ideas.
The French Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia 2022
With her curators, Yasmina Reggad, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Zineb Sedira transforms the French Pavilion into a cinematographic installation where the film Dreams Have No Titles helps to immerse visitors in a project with profoundly humanistic undertones.
The French Pavilion presents Zineb Sedira's multidisciplinary exhibition, an immersive installation combining film, sculpture, photography, sound and collage. In keeping with her artistic practice, Zineb Sedira uses autobiographical narrative, fiction and documentary to highlight international solidarity, past and present, linked to historical struggles for liberation. Her approach also serves as a warning about the failure of a promise of freedom that, for many people, remains an unfulfilled, even unattainable dream.
In Dreams Have No Titles, the artist addresses a major turning point in the history of cultural, intellectual and avant-garde production in the 1960s, 1970s and beyond, particularly in France, Italy and Algeria. It focuses on a corpus of co-productions and film productions, particularly of a militant nature, which had an impact on post-colonial movements.
Zineb Sedira's exhibition is a mirror ball inviting the spectator to dance - to dance to resist, to dance to be reborn, to dance to dream... And her dreams have no title.
Echoes around the pavilion
The project presented by the artist Zineb Sedira in the French Pavilion of the Venice Biennale of Art extends beyond the presentation of the work on site from 23 April to 27 November 2022. The echoes around the project begin beforehand, during the Biennale, and continue long afterwards.
- As part of the FRIEZE ART FAIR in London, Zineb Sedira was in conversation with the British artist Sonia Boyce, of Afro-Caribbean origin, a long-time friend.
- At FIAC Paris 2021, Zineb Sedira spoke with curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath in the official "conversation rooms" programme about their working process, and their collaboration as artists and curators for the Pavilion.
- Also at FIAC Paris 2021, the artist presented, with curator Yasmina Reggad, the Pavilion's journal number 1, Alger. This first issue is followed by two others (Paris and Venice), available on the trade days of the Biennale.
- An exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland will feature in the Art Basel 2022 exhibition programme, in partnership with Basel art venues, conceived as a dialogue between Zineb Sedira and the artist Latifa Echakhch, who is representing the Swiss pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Kunsthaus director Ines Goldbach is curating the exhibition.
- Curator and researcher Léa Morin has designed a film programme for "La Collection" entitled "Cinema, a weapon", divided into three parts: cine-combat, cine-movements and cine-geographies. This programme is made available to France's cultural network abroad and will be screened in Berlin (summer 2022), London (September 2022) and Phnom Penh (November 2022). Other screenings are currently being confirmed. The programme echoes the work of Zineb Sedira, who is committed to exploring historical narratives and questioning the themes of collective memory and the transmission of this heritage.
- Resonances also take the form of a significant French presence in Cecilia Alemani's international exhibition The Milk of Dreams, with 29 contemporary and historical artists from the French scene, roughly one sixth of the artists in the exhibition. Six contemporary artists from the French scene have been invited by the Biennale to present their work. The Institut français is supporting the invitation of these artists, within the framework of its annual call for projects "Relance Export".
The French Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia 2022 is operated by the Institut français.
The Institut français also supports, as part of "Relance export", six French artists of the International Art Exhibition, The Milk of Dreams curated by Cecilia Alemani.
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