rhizome, Algier, Algeria 07 Nov 2020 - 16 Jan 2020
Hichem Merouche, Bouteille à la mer (Detail), 2020.
For its inaugural exhibition, rhizome invites Algerian artist Bardi from November 07, 2020 to January 16, 2021 for the exhibition «Stasis». With his foray into the world of painting Bardi paints a picture of our societies, reflecting without indulgence on what man does to himself and his socio-cultural environment.
From its inception, his pictorial world has been populated by strange and grotesque characters. His animals and entities that float and hover in space shamelessly displaying their deformities and their mocking gazes. Laughing at the world, ironic, they carry the vanity, arrogance, ambition, pride and other aspirations of men.
A certain sense of humor, however, mitigates the harshness of this irony and a tenderness shine through what is at times harsh criticism. There is a tenderness for human weakness which Bardi derides as if to defuse the drama of reality.
Stasis is the title chosen by the artist for this exhibition the strength of the works
of which lies in their ability to lay bare the contradictions that run through and disturbs our lives. By Stasis the Greeks designated a political, moral and social crisis resulting from a conflict internal to a city-state (the Greek Polis). It is also the name of the god who embodies civil war and disagreement among a people. That is what Bardi’s work is about: those historic moments that shook the daily lives of thousands of people. Algerians—whom Bardi represents with rhizome presents «Stasis», an exhibition by Bardi.
suffering bodies—spread out, dismembered at the same time human and monsters. Sensitive to the socio-political conflicts that have invaded the world today, in his recent works, where the beauty and the ugliness
of men are intertwined, Bardi charges these grotesque works of art with the critical role of provoking a reaction in the viewer at once comical, bitter and anxious. They constitute a dissent from the usual classical moral, the socio-cultural and aesthetic standards that, as a result, they call into question.
The artist readily acknowledges that he exists «… in derision and caricature» which is the only way for him to «sublimate the present» and express a position towards the political, social or cultural context. Admittedly, his works are inhabited by deformed human figures that can be interpreted as a provocation because they are deliberately ambiguous, but this vision of the real carries an expression of social disappointment. These disarticulated, deformed, mutilated bodies are those «of the people I meet every day. These are the tired bodies of Algerian workers in whose faces that I see expressed only weariness and dull eyes as if everyone is waiting for the messiah. «
Excerpt from the text by Nadira Laggoune- Aklouche, art critic and independent curator.