Spanning both of our galleries, Can’t You See the Sea Changing? will be Zineb Sedira’s first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery for over 12 years and follows her acclaimed exhibition, Dreams Have No Titles for the French Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, which received the Special Mention of the Jury.
Conceived in collaboration with Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), where the exhibition will be presented in spring 2023, Can’t You See the Sea Changing? focuses on Sedira’s ongoing investigation into the conditions of transnational trade, identity and migrant consciousness in a post-colonial context, within which the sea is a recurring motif. Beginning from the artist’s fascination with the sea as an enigmatic yet geopolitically charged space, as well as the coastal contexts of the De La Warr Pavilion and DCA, the exhibition spans a period from 2008 to the present day and brings together photography, installation, film and archival material.
Sedira draws upon her personal history and close connection to Algeria, France and the UK to explore ideas of identity, gender, environment and collective memory. Throughout her career, she has become a leading voice in addressing the question of what it means to live between different cultures, often bringing together autobiographical narration, fiction and documentary genres. Through these varying approaches to storytelling, Sedira interrogates what she refers to as spaces where mobility expires, or the (in)ability of individuals to depart, return, escape, or exist in transit between certain lands and identities. Whilst her narratives are embedded with histories of migration and exile, particularly in relation to her home countries of Algeria and France, Sedira considers what it means to be transported through visionary acts of imagination, acts that carry us to different places through the merging of past and present time frames.
The exhibition is a collaboration between De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, and Dundee Contemporary Arts.