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“I always considered that an ancient context such as the Tetouan medina was sort of like a museum: an obsolete environment that is no longer inhabitable. I often observe these tourists who come from around the world to enjoy, with a certain emotion, this ambiguous journey through time and space. The fact I see things this way is probably due to the fact I was born and grew up in a neighbourhood that is completely different from the urban setting of the medina. So I really wanted to embody one of these protagonists in an imaginary medieval scenario.

For the past three years, I have oriented my research to- wards architecture and urban- ism. With my works, I create a sort of phantasmagorical fic- tion that is also a story in the news. The way in which the real estate sector plays a part in the current economic and social crisis concerns me, and I reflected upon the usefulness of building and demolishing, upon architecture and its rela- tions to religion, politics, the economy, etc.

The project I developed dur- ing my residency is called New Mythology. Since I’m pushing my aesthetic research towards illusion, the impalpability of reality and the spectacular ab- surdity, I worked according to a paradox that turns the medi- na into an ultra-modern urban fabric: like some sort of mem- ory/transformation that we didn’t experience.”

Said Afifi

Born in 1983 in Casablanca, he lives and works in Tetouan.

Since 2012, Said Afifi has explored the tenets of postmodernist archi- tecture, often adding a chaotic and utopian dimension to the genre, drawing outlines of a cold and sterile aesthetic. While maintaining a position of observer, he tries to question the political, social and eco- nomic circumstances that have led to the advent of ultra-modernist architecture. In the Donatella series, Afifi evokes the issues behind chirurgical procedures that are planned as architectural process, and the impact of this pursuit of a perfect aesthetic on the evolution of human species.

Courtesy: The artist