28.11 > 12.12.2023 | Creation Residence – Solitary Empathy – Fred Chemama (Fr/Be) | Moukhtab’Art (Ma)

28.11 > 12.12.2023 | Creation Residence – Solitary Empathy – Fred Chemama (Fr/Be) | Moukhtab’Art (Ma)

Since childhood, Morocco has always held a special place in Fred Chemama’s heart, where he also pursued a portion of his studies. Following the devastating earthquake that caused havoc, destruction, and the tragic loss of thousands of lives, the artist desired to reconnect with this country he deeply cherishes and offer support as humbly as his skills and resources allow.

“I felt an involuntary uprooting of these populations that resonates with me as someone who has experienced displacement myself.”

He contemplated offering his services as a driver to relocate people or objects across the country, contribute to meal preparation and distribution, and assist local organizations or associations, depending on their needs and orientations. However, being aware of his limitations, he also considered offering support linked directly to his artistic practice.

He has conceived a project aiming to create or recreate social bonds among displaced individuals in villages or neighborhoods they discovered following their forced migration due to the catastrophe of September 9th. This initial residency will allow him to develop this project further.

The primary idea is to tangibly highlight – through the use of a real-time interactive video installation, the “Fōz machine” – couples, families, parents, and children in front of the facade of their “new home” or temporary living place. During these illuminations, the images of these individuals merge with the architecture of their new habitat.

It’s a reflection on the living conditions of these individuals and the connections they hold with their land, particularly their home. He also aims to revisit the living spaces they left behind, capture another portrait, and gather their voices and images in front of these stigmatized, partially or entirely destroyed dwellings. This endeavor attempts to contribute to a process of healing through poetic and symbolic actions.

It’s also a questioning of the role that art and artistic processes can play in the lives of those who generally don’t have access to it. A challenge against the closed-off habits and insularity of this world, causing inaccessibility for those intentionally or unintentionally excluded from it.

Fred Chemama (Fr/Be)

“Photographer, videographer, and multimedia artist, Fred Chemama, also known as 眯腊 (mira), is a multidisciplinary artist who studied audiovisual production at ESRA Maroc and photography in France. He currently lives and works between Belgium, France, and his travels that lead him to encounter other artists and cultural institutions across Europe and beyond.

In the final year of his academic journey, he traveled to Mexico to create a series of underwater portraits of fishermen from the state of Oaxaca, using a reportage camera and an original waterproof casing. These portraits are now immersed in luminous casings where they decompose underwater, a process ongoing for several years. Over time, he has undertaken several long-exposure self-portrait projects.

Action, encounters, and a self-reflective approach towards capturing imagery from reality lie at the core of his artistic pursuit. This has led him to occasionally adopt an iconoclastic stance and create transient on-site installations using discarded ink ribbons sourced from souvenir photo booths.

Preconceived actions carried out collectively and the exploration of diverse processes in producing images “drawn from reality” stand as focal points of his initial approach, already casting doubt on the authority of photographic imagery as an informational conduit and instead, transforming it into what he truly feels: a pretext for the poetic gathering of individuals.

Today, 眯腊 continues to engage in experiments at the intersection of photography, video, and digital arts; exploring the realms of the body, light, movement, situation, and place within an approach connected to bodily action.

His recent projects of interactive installations (“cyclo-kino,” the “Gestographer,” the “Fōz machine”…) blend disciplines, mediums, and transcend them into playful and intriguing devices.”