In Latifa Echakhch’s (b.1974, El Khnansa) work, ink appears in diverse forms: solidified in hats that seem discarded, absorbed into large raw canvases, dripped onto the windows of a museum. Ink’s capability to channel a message is replaced by a different kind of expressiveness, non-verbal but still poignant.
The artist’s exhibition in the gallery appears as a sober and off-scale drawing, in which the feelings and the messages are conveyed through two apparently antithetical series. The two groups of works weave together the historical and concrete reality with representation, shifting memory to a timeless dimension.
“there’s tears” consists of a series of canvases covered with newspaper made illegible. As often happens with Echakhch’s works, the neutrality of a minimal approach implodes at the hand of the simple use of object imbued with a sociological and cultural charge. The act of erasure and the dissolve of the printed texts result in what appears to be a reaction to the newspapers arduous content. Through a gesture that is both poetic and conceptual, the canvas becomes a window that frames reality, a reality no longer controlled by reason, and therefore tragically crude. The loss of meaning transforms into a feeling of mourning.
As counterparts to the works on canvas – a sort of CMYK interpretation of the watercolour technique- are solid black groups of clouds, hung from the ceiling, dropped almost to touch the ground. The clouds can be seen as the remnants of a theater performance, abandoned vestiges of a seemingly innocent representation. At the same time, the clouds position and color introduce an opposite feeling to the scenery, evoking a sense of loss and an imminent threat. In Latifa Echakhch’s exhibition, subversion and mourning are intertwined with the apparently antithetical sense of memory and hope, mirroring life complexity and inevitable ambivalence.