Mohamed Bourouissa: Horseday

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
10 Sep 2016 - 01 Jan 2017

Mohamed Bourouissa: Horseday

Mohamed Bourouissa, Untitled, from: Horseday (2013), chromogenic colour print. Coll. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam © Mohamed Bourouissa. / Billy Dufala with Mohamed Bourouissa for Horseday project, 2014. Courtesy Billy Buffala, Mohamed Bourouissa, Kamel Mennour Gallery

Last year, the Stedelijk bought a photograph and a two-channel video by the French-Algerian artist Mohamed Bourouissa. Both works represent a facet of the project Horseday (2013-present). This autumn, the Stedelijk will present the works as part of a gallery-filling installation designed by the artist.

Mohamed Bourouissa (1978, Blida, Algeria) is known for his direct, imposing color photographs of young people, immigrants, and everyday life in the Paris suburbs. Bourouissa is fascinated by systems, how society is structured, and how social processes are activated. Unlike traditional socially critical photographers, he always works within and in collaboration with communities. Last year, the Stedelijk Museum purchased a photograph and video by Bourouissa. Both works are part of the project Horseday (2013–present). The works will be on display as of September 10 at the Stedelijk, in an installation designed by the artist.

For Horseday, Bourouissa collaborated with a local community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fascinated by the role that horses, stables, and riding play in the life of this Afro-American community, he teamed up with artists and riders to organize a contest for the most beautifully decorated horse. Bourouissa translated this event into a series of majestic photos, a film, and a number of sculptures. The images powerfully reference the idea of the classic, sometimes stereotypical cowboy of the American West. The video largely comprises footage of daily life in combination with the staged event.

As part of the Horseday project, Bourouissa also produced spatial objects, including pieces of a car body onto which he printed images. The artist frequently examines specific themes and status symbols that hold meaning for certain communities. The presentation at the Stedelijk Museum will occupy two gallery spaces and feature an installation of the Horseday project, including preliminary studies, a spatial projection, and photos printed onto different materials.

Opening: Friday Night, September 9
Mohamed Bourouissa’s Horseday opens on the evening of Friday, September 9, together with the exhibition of Magali Reus, and is open to the public. On Friday evenings, the Stedelijk is open until 22:00 and features a special program of activities.


Mohamed Bourouissa lives and works in Paris. After graduating from the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs, he attracted the attention of the international art world with his series “Périphérique,” in which the artist registered the tensions and turbulence on the streets of Paris suburbs. While the images appear to be documentary or candid shots, they are actually meticulously staged photographs of situations that young people there face daily, magnified by the artist’s use of fiction and staging. Bourouissa’s work focuses on individuals and their place in society. He works in different disciplines, primarily photography and film, although his oeuvre also includes drawings and sculptures. Among Bourouissa’s more well-known projects are Temps Mort (2009) and Légende (2010). Temps Mort is based on texts and images made by inmates on mobile phones smuggled into the prison. In Légende, illegal cigarette vendors equipped with hidden cameras film the activity around Barbès, a subway station in Paris. Work by Bourouissa has been exhibited at Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Palazzo Grassi (François Pinault Foundation) in Venice, Museum MAXXI in Rome, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The artist is represented by kamel mennour, Paris.

Stedelijk Contemporary
The 2016 exhibition program includes a series of dynamic solo exhibitions by a young generation of artists. Many of these are new productions and recent purchases that are associated with the museum’s acquisitions policy. The Stedelijk seeks to respond to current events and stimulate contemporary talent by also taking on the position of commissioner in some cases. Its commitment to developing lasting relationships with young artists shapes the future identity of the museum’s collection.

The presentations in 2016 and 2017 are made possible with the generous support of Ammodo.




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