The African Studies Gallery, Tel-Aviv Solo exhibition - Aicha El Beloui This is the first exhibition of the Moroccan artist Aicha El Beloui in Tel-Aviv. In a subtle, minimalist and pointed approach, with poignant and critical humor, she sketches the relations formed between the civilian and the urban space she occupies. Her feminist gaze poses a political, social and cultural perspective on Islamic society in Morocco, with emphasis on her hometown Casablanca.
Aicha will present two small series of illustrations, the first deals with civic rights and the second with the women rights for equality in Morocco.
"I am a Moroccan Casablanca-based illustrator, graphic designer, and creative director. Trained as an architect, I started my artistic practice four years ago in response to a visceral need to express the alienation of our socio-cultural context as Moroccans, subjects, Arabs, Muslims, and North Africans; a context I have always actively tried to understand and demystify, initially through my Architecture studies, which helped me sharpen the reading of the city to a certain extent. Additionally, my involvement in the architectural heritage and cultural scene in Casablanca has been key to bringing life and concreteness to my understanding of these issues. Finally, during three years as a student and an active change maker, I was given the opportunity to be part of, witness, and understand how this discomforting environment was thought about and managed. Upon graduating, my professional experience took me to both Norway and South Africa for short periods where I held temporary residencies. However, being able to confront what I learned and experienced about the Moroccan context into tangible experiences within vastly different frames of reference motivated me to give up a promising career as a cultural heritage expert and instead use my basic graphic skills to earnestly convey what has obsessed me about citizenship, public spaces, belonging, freedom, and the individual. I thus embarked on a nameless adventure driven by a rage and anger that I needed to share in the subtlest and most constructive way I could: through using humour, language nuances, and cultural references via graphic design, photography and illustration. These avenues providing an intuitive juggling amongst representation, interpretation, and the appropriation of the unseen and unsaid, but still daily undergone and endured. I have been processing and exploiting this positive energy in every way I could possibly think to do within a challenging context that has been as inspirational as it has been a struggle". Aïcha El Beloui !