The Mosaic Rooms present the first UK solo exhibition of French-Algerian artist Katia Kameli. Drawing together both new and recent work, it takes the audience on a journey through the power of storytelling, questioning ideas of historical authenticity and national identity. The exhibition is staged at a time when such questions of selfhood, history and nation are particularly resonant.
The exhibition, which feature films and an installation, will present some of the artist’s central concerns: issues of dual identities, multiplicity, and the potential for residing in this ‘in-between’ space.
The installation Stream of Stories is the first part of an ongoing body of work in which Kameli interrogates the origins of a classic French collection of fables. It features masks of the fables’ animal characters and video of interviews with translators and historians, meticulously tracing the journey of this narrative from its Indian origins and its transformation through the act of translation, both literal and cultural.
The Storyteller, commissioned for the 2012 Marrakech Biennale, is a video installation set in Morocco. Here, the visitor becomes the audience in Al-Halqa, the traditional storytellers circle, watching the performance of a professional storyteller the artist met in Marrakech. The story he tells has an unexpected source, not passed down through oral tradition, it is drawn from a 1964 Bollywood movie, Dosti. For Kameli, the piece represents historical narrative and identity, both of which are constantly shifting and being rewritten.
In The Algerian Novel, the street is the stage for a different kind of storytelling. Seen by Kameli as ‘an immersion into Algeria’s history’ this documentary film looks at a street stall in Algiers, where a father and son sell postcards and reproductions of archival photographs. We watch customers peruse the collections and hear inhabitants of Algiers, students, historians and writers, reflect on the significance of the images to the history of their country.
In this exhibition Kameli invites us to reflect on the stories we are told, the voices who tell them and how narratives of national identity are taught.
Join Katia Kameliin discussion with independent lecturer, curator, and art critic Simon Njami about the work in her first London solo show at The Mosaic Rooms and her wider practise.
Drawing together both new and recent work, Katia Kameli’s exhibition takes the audience on a journey exploring the power of storytelling, historical authenticity and national identity. The films and installation presented at The Mosaic Rooms showcase some of the artist’s central concerns: issues of dual identity, multiplicity, and the potential for residing in an ‘in-between’ space. The exhibition is staged at a time when such questions of selfhood, history and nation are particularly resonant.
About the artist: Katia Kameli, born in 1973 in France, has exhibited widely internationally in both solo and group shows. These include Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Mucem, Marseille (2016); Galerie du Jour, Paris (2015); Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York (2014); Bozar, Bruxelles (2014); Lubumbashi Biennale, Congo (2013); Gulbekian, Portugal (2013); Museum of Marseille (2013); Dakar Biennale (2012); Marrakech Biennale (2012); Bamako Biennale, Mali (2011).