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What relationship does visual culture have to the world we live in?

Hassan Darsi
1 November 2011

The scale of the resistance among the people of the MENA region in the last year will remain an example in contemporary history.


This resistance expresses a desire to build new ground and another social entity, which up till now has been latent.


The clear desire is to build a common discourse from so many different and even opposing ones... as many debates and blueprints are layered one on top of the other, creating one.


The superimposition of visual cultural identities must be worked out at the scale of this new territory and needs to coincide with its real priorities, which express themselves at the scale of its urban configurations and composition, its paradoxes and modes of functioning.


In this way, through their projects and productions, artists in the region have in these last few years created a real revolution in the artistic and cultural landscape, clearing away the very real fears of local repressive regimes and the fears projected from the outside onto the region.


It is not yet happening with official, local institutions, which only work at the scale of their fears and post-colonial structures. 

Hassan Darsi

's artistic practice is highly influenced by his life, the everyday, and his environment, by way of processes of work, which use multiple mediums and often take the form of participative projects. In 1995 he founded the project La source du lion (The source of the lion) in Casablanca. Starting in 1999, Hassan Darsi developed a work centred around gilding, his material of choice being gold paper with which he covers objects - dolls, garden chairs, televisions, tanks, teeth - but also public spaces, notably the façade of an art gallery in Casablanca in 2007, the concrete blocks of the pier at Guia de Isora Port in Tenerife in 2008, and those of the pier at the port in Marseille in 2012. In 2001 he initiated the series Portraits de familles (Family Portraits), which from 2001 to 2007 offered the opportunity to the inhabitants of seven cities across the world to pose for him in his travelling workshop. The Hermitage Park project developed in the form of artistic footbridges from 2002 to 2008, marking the beginning of a series of activities and works linked to questions concerning the city, architecture and public space, including: Le lion se meurt (The lion is dying) (2004–2005), Le passage de la modernité (The passage from modernity) (2008), Le square d'en bas (The square from below) (2009), Accrochage zéro (Point zero) (2008), Le toit du monde (The roof of the world) (2010), and Chantiers en or (Building gold). Parallel to these projects, he has participated in numerous international exhibitions in art centres, museums and biennales. His work is on view in public and private collections in Morocco and abroad. The piece Le Project de la Maquette (The Model Project) (2002–2003) has recently become part of the collection at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

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