Nidhal Chamekh Selma Feriani Gallery
Nidhal ChamekhSelma Feriani Gallery
Installation view at Selma Feriani Gallery, Nos Visages, 2019, Nidhal Chamekh




Nidhal Chamekh’s practice reflects on the times that we inhabit. His artwork is situated at the intersection of the biographic and the political, the lived and the historical, the event and the archive.


Using drawing, installations, photography and video, his oeuvres dissect the constitution of our contemporary identity. Chamekh has developed a language that challenges history and politics in their broader sense. He performs his fragmentary research to convey an ambiguous atmosphere, shifting between the experience and the violence of the individual representation. He represents an imperceptible space between a silent violence mirroring an intimate experience of trauma.







Chamekh combines fragments of the past and the present, layering pieces of history to create a space that reclaims the existence of forgotten figures of colonialism.







Nos Visages (Our Faces) (2019-2021), draws from articles of French colonial propaganda (the magazine Le Miroir, founded in 1910). Precisely where Senegalese and Berber “infantrymen” were presented somewhere between the ethnographical survey and the hackneyed colonial and orientalist image.



Installation view of Diaspora at Home at KADIST Paris, 2021. Photo by Aurélien Mole. Nos visages, 2019-2021





Unable to pin a name to all the faces re-drawn by Nidhal Chamekh (“transferred” from the pages of Le Miroir), the artist has once again radicalized the denial of their existence by overlaying contradictory half-faces among each other. This has involved not so much blurring identities as taking the risk of laceration and tatters in order to get as close as possible to the mute wounds of a history told by the official winners.




“These faces which contributed to the liberation of France, but remained forever on the sidelines of its official narrative and a war calling itself a “world” war, when the real theatre had to do with the European colonial empires. As if to better demythologize these photographs, which “delete” individuals by displaying them as propaganda objects, Nos visages seem to be seeking their place, defying anatomical rationality, and struggling in a sky filled with orphaned stars.”

- Morad Montazami




Drones series, 2019, Ink and gouache on 19th-century lithographs



The Exile (2018/2020) series mark 10 years since the artist's departure from Tunis to Paris. This is the only truly autobiographical work in which memories of childhood and elements of his life as a foreigner intertwine, in addition to notions of history, literary and philosophy, references significant to the artist and which forged his conception, theoretically and his approach as an artist.



Exile No. I, No. II, No. III, 2018/2020, inks, graphite and transfer on cotton paper, 200h x 240w cm



Far from the exotic image of exile, the drawings are related to his personal and human experiences, they propose to renew the aesthetic as well as political question of the exilic experience. It is an existential core, that is to say individual and collective, a dense paradigm that the artist freely distributes in his drawings.





Installation view of Le Miroir, 2019, Slide projector carousel, fifty-one cutout slides



“A work of art, as a creation, transmits this desire to create, to make a creation out of one's life. In this sense, it is resistance to the deadly, to what reduces our lives and our activities to mere commodities.”

- Nidhal Chamekh



Nidhal Chamekh | Bio & CV.pdf
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