Said Afifi
Single Channel Video

“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 fiction 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 relations to religion, politics, the economy, etc. The project I developed during my residency is called New Mythology. Since I’m pushing my aesthetic research towards illusion, the implacability of reality and the spectacular absurdity, I worked according to a paradox that turns the medina into an ultra-modern urban fabric: like some sort of memory/transformation that we didn’t experience.”

About the artist

Born in 1983 in Casablanca, he lives and works in Tetouan. Since 2012, Said Afifi has explored the tenets of postmodernist architecture, 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 economic 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.

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Courtesy: The artist