Exhibition text for Berirouche Feddal solo show
Galerie Laroche Joncas, Montreal
In an attempt to look at one’s trajectory, Berirouche Feddal turns the gaze towards oneself by exposing the complexities that surround family relations, personal identity and homeland. Taking the binding of Isaac as a starting point, the work asks us to reflect on the notion of “sacrifice”. Placing this term under more contemporary times, it can be interpreted within the realms of cancel culture whereby one is rejected for his opinions; when the group is displeased. He places himself as one of Eduard Manet’s figures in a room full of beds that he shares with his extended family, positioning himself as both the sacrificed son and the one who is still sacrificing. Born to an Algerian father and an Algerian mother who arrived in Canada via Air Algerie, the exhibition draws powerful parallels between Berirouche’s metaphorical migration from his first social circle and the experience of the Harragas. While the latter is someone who partake in illegal immigration through makeshift boats, the goal remains the same for both: to reach a shore with the hope of finding refuge.
In this exhibition, Algeria enters a state of flux while embodying a familiar and an alienating place at the same time. A place where one attends a wedding but also a place where gas jars are stored. Comfort and tension become a home’s main component.
The third component of an estranged home is colonization. Berirouche Feddal critically engages with the “attempts of seduction” emerging from the colonized people. In reappropriating French fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, the work becomes a portrait of the cultural infrastructure set by years of colonization. Using fabrics that are found at the souk, Feddal sheds away from the desire of wanting to seduce the other and remind us of the importance to value the richness of what a country holds. Mon coeur s’attache à ces âmes fragiles is a proposal for a reconciliation emerging from a dialogue that is deemed to persist.