Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni. The Front Line

Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni, 2022
Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni, 2022

Working primarily in sculpture and photography, artist Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni considers the physical and psychological landscape. With distinct poetics, he creates concise forms that reflect on experiences both personal and societal. Referring to scenes of fatality that exist all too often in the everyday – of burial sites, of illicit actions, and of ritual slaughter – Rahmouni describes to us a reality of mortality and sacrifice. Simple yet pensive, his forms are in a state of flux – ‘ready-made’ sculptures look hand-crafted, hand-crafted objects appear ready-made, and images float between mournfulness and optimism.

As an artist making work at a formative period of his career, Rahmouni’s exhibition at M HKA offers a configuration of a key selection of his existing works in dialogue with new. Sculptural images and objects stand in quiet reflection. His new large-scale photographic work, The Front Line (2021), also adopted here as the title of his exhibition, depicts an improvised graveyard in the barren coastal borderlands in the Sahara. Its solemnity further reverberating through existing sculptural works such as Looking for Truth (2016) – a minimalist-design oak chair, the seat of which is a single sheet of glass with the archetypal form of a bottle at its centre – itself a meditation on pre-meditated attacks on those considered as dissenters.

Also being an opportunity to reflect on the diversity of Rahmouni’s artwork, this exhibition provides an insight into the practice of an artist experimenting with new languages for describing the ineffable.

Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni lives and works in Brussels. He is a candidate laureate of the HISK post-graduate residency in Ghent, before which he attended the Institut National des Beaux-arts de Tétouan and the ENSAV-La Cambre in Brussels. He has exhibited widely in Belgium and internationally, including as part of the Sharjah Biennial in 2017, and recently exhibited his outdoor work The Visible Part at the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, in 2021. Residencies have included Hangar (Barcelona), Wiels (Brussels), and most recently with Moussem (Brussels).

Mostafa Saifi Rahmouni’s exhibition is organised within the framework of IN SITU/Moussem Collection. In this innovative collaboration, M HKA and Moussem work together on the development of a solo exhibition with an invited artist, supporting them with the production, as well as the joint acquisition, of artwork.