A piece especially created for the exhibit, Skin (Through my eyes) was initially born from what the proximity of the river inspires, from these port- hole-shaped windows evocative of a boat, related to the part played by Saint-Louis and the Senegal River in the history of slavery. By covering the portholes with a photograph against the light, Sadek Rahim superimposes landscapes and stories. These views of the bay of Algiers strangely resemble the ones that can be seen through these openings. The artist remarks that what we see of Algiers here is probably what the slaves also saw, of which some came from Saint-Louis, sent to one of the largest slave camps of Algeria’s Ottoman era. At the same time, the artist materializes these words by Achille Mbembe, a Cameroonian theoretician of post-colonialism, regarding the terrible situation of exiles in the Mediterranean basin: “The Mediterranean sea has become like the Atlantic in the 15th century. The Atlantic was a graveyard for countless slaves being transported from Africa to the Americas. The estimated number of slaves who died in the Atlantic is in the millions. A thinker such as Glissant constructed his entire reflection around this idea of the black Atlantic, as Paul Gilroy and the others would say… So today, it’s the Mediterranean. I think we can speak of a black Mediterranean.”
Sadek Rahim. Born in Oran, Algeria. Sadek Rahim holds a Visual Arts MA and a AS from the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London and a BA from The Lebanese Fine Arts Academy in Beirut. He returned from UK to Algeria in 2004. He is also the co-founder of The Mediterranean Contemporary Art Biennale of Oran in 2011 and The Contemporary Drawing Salon in Oran 2012, in collaboration with the local organization Civ-oeil. Concerning his engagement with cultural politics, the artist has expressed his commitment to the contemporary art in Algeria and promoted an awareness of contemporary Algerian art and culture internationally. He also curated and co-curated events like Nuit Blanche Oran and Video’Appart-Oran with the French Institute and AHLAN WAHRAN with METROPOLART Cities & Artists Paris. The work of Sadek Rahim often combines photography and installation, technology and design. He has shown his work widely following his thesis project at Central Saint Martin’s in London.