Sabrina Amrani is presenting Are Angel trumpets Poisonous?, the thrid solo show by Amina Benbouchta in the gallery, opening 25th June 2022.
For four decades, Amina Benbouchta has been composing metaphorical accounts of human experience that play with scales of representation and challenge mediums. With a certain agility, the artist goes from charcoal to brush and from canvas to glossy paper to reveal snapshots of an uninterrupted initiatory journey, populated by everyday objects with a strong symbolic charge and often inhabited by a unique character. Benbouchta likes to recall the framework of Lewis Carroll's tale, by depicting or embodying an Alice evolving in contact with instruments of power and desire. Among them are recurring elements, which have known how to cross her different periods of creation that lead to the artists pictorial lexicon. They never have a single meaning: the crinoline is both a tool of seduction and enslavement of the female body. The rabbit, symbol of Christs resurrection but also a metaphor for easy prey.
By a rhetorical question, the exhibition title refers to a flower with a poetic and reassuring name but whose properties are destructive. Are the angel trumpets poisonous? embodies the characteristic ambivalence of the artist's approach by taking over all the spatial dimensions of the gallery to deploy new techniques, surfaces and dimensions. The delicate line of the drawing thickens, the palette tightens, the material takes on more relief with grease chalk and collage, the formats lengthen. In this new body of work, if the gesture is more insistent, these new frescoes are adorned with voids that never refer to nothingness. On the contrary, they are breathing spaces. Aerations necessary to subtract depth and perspective and break with all academism. They embody Amina Benbouchta's refusal to freeze characters and objects in conventional planes. The elements float in the space of the surfaces or suddenly spring from a distant elsewhere.
Through the evocative power of a singular iconography constantly renewed and recontextualized, Amina Benbouchta offers a poetic reflection on the mechanisms of domination and human perception. The artist orchestrates narratives that take their source in her personal socio-political context in a total universal resonance. She assumes a double cultural belonging and likes to probe the social constructions of each.
In variable-scale representations, she defies the laws of attraction. Alternately vulnerable or powerful depending on the size given to it by the artist, the object overflows to the detriment of the subject, to the point of no longer distinguishing who is the hunter from the prey.
Extract of the text Are Angel Trumpets Poisonous? by Meriem Berrada, read full text here