The departure point for the immersive photographs The Lovers and the series Shipwrecks: the Death of a Journey (2009) is the ship graveyard situated on the coastline of the Mauritanian fishing port of Nouâdhibou. A meeting point of desert and ocean, the city has become a departure point for migrants who risk their lives trying, illegally, to reach the Canary Islands. The photographs suggest many stories: it is about mortality and decay but also exile, migration, and the paradox of hope and trauma. They offer multiple simultaneous viewpoints of the dismembered debris of forgotten vessels and rusting, decaying ships, still afloat or beached. The sea, its infinite horizon line, and our relationship to it are powerful forces in the human imaginary.
The works also draw attention to environmental destruction and the politics of power, international trade, and the economics that circumscribe it. Nearing Nouâdhibou and its graveyard of ships from across the world is the Banc d’Arguin National Park, a World Heritage Site for migratory birds.
b. 1963, Paris, France
Lives in London and works between Paris, Algiers and London. She is a photographer and video maker who develops a work of art deeply rooted in the study of Algerian colonial and post-colonial history. Her seascapes capture the political and sociological links between North Africa and Europe, as her collection of individual accounts reveals the evolution of a nation. She has exhibited at the La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille as part of Marseille Provence 2013: European Capital of Culture • Tate Britain, London (2012) • MUMA, Australia (2012) • Venice Biennial (2001, 2011) • Folkestone Triennial (2011) • 1st Quadrennial for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2008) • Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007) • British Art Show 06 and ICA, London (2006) • Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2005) • Hayward Gallery, London (2005) • ICP Triennial, New York (2003) • Tate Britain, London (2002). She held solo exhibitions at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver (2013) • Bildmuseet, Sweden (2010) • Nikolaj Art Center, Copenhagen (2010) • [mac] Musée d’ Art Contemporain, Marseille (2010) • Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010) • Rivington Place, London (2009) • John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK (2009) • The Wapping Project, London (2008) • Photographers Gallery, London (2006) • Cornerhouse, Manchester (2004) • Rencontres de la Photographie d’ Arles, France (2002).