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À l’horizon, une obscure clarté

Mouhcine Rahaoui

16 mai-29 juin 2024. Galerie AFIKARIS.

Mouhcine Rahaoui’s exhibition, *À l’horizon, une obscure clarté*, currently showing at the AFIKARIS Gallery in Paris, offers a profound exploration of the human condition through the lens of the mining industry. This exhibition, which marks Rahaoui’s first solo show in France, is deeply rooted in the artist’s personal history and the socio-economic realities of Jerada, a Moroccan mining town near the Algerian border.

 Rahaoui’s work is characterized by its textural richness and the use of unconventional materials such as coal, woven plastic bags, wax, glue, and candles. These elements not only bring a tactile dimension to his pieces but also serve as poignant symbols of the mining life he seeks to depict. The landscapes he creates are hauntingly beautiful, dissecting the earth’s bowels and revealing ominous horizons that speak to the dark and often perilous reality of mining. 

The exhibition delves into themes of dependence, risk, and hope, encapsulating the miners’ struggles and resilience. Rahaoui’s father was a miner, and although the artist himself never worked in the mines, the stories and experiences of his family have left an indelible mark on his creative process. His work is a poetic and social documentary, capturing the precarious existence of miners and their alienation from the earth they labor in.

  One of the standout pieces, *Mineur* (2024), exemplifies Rahaoui’s technique and thematic concerns. Using mixed media, including woven plastic bags and charcoal, the piece embodies the harsh realities and the gritty environment of mining. This approach not only highlights the physical labor involved but also the socio-political implications of mining industries on communities like Jerada. Through his exhibition, Rahaoui invites viewers to step into the miners’ world, using visual storytelling to convey a message of hope and the possibility of choosing one’s destiny despite seemingly insurmountable odds. The exhibition runs until June 29, 2024.