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Arles 2012: Mehdi Meddaci

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Mehdi Meddaci's plastic work keeps its distance, staying on the level of the "poetic" and bearing witness to its deep roots in Mediterranean space. It builds itself through successive strata, taking the form of devices or autonomous modules such as Corps Traversés (Pierced Bodies, 2007), Lancer une pierre, (To throw a stone, 2008) or Sans-titre, Alger la blanche (Untitled, Alger la blanche, 2009), which allow photography, video and film to resonate with each other. Like a "sea surrounded by land", everything is in the offset between sound and image, between the document and the artifice, between the sway of bodies and the pregnancy of landscapes. The editing gives rise to a desire, within the viewer, to deconstruct what we might rebuild, conferring importance on the potentiality of possible worlds. What is visible is carried by the odd sensation of missing something - a History, perhaps. Meddaci, by altering the signifiers of appearance in this History, seeks to reaffirm a continuity threatened to the point of extinction. His images, whether metaphorical or literal, present us with a motif, a body submerged between two shores: people framed full-on yet absent at the same time, anchored in a strong décor and socio-political context while also being profoundly lost. Paradoxically, it's in the act of waiting, with our backs to the wall, that the need for a "crossing," for a "return trip" is the most tangible.

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