I went to Casablanca to assist with the opening of 4 th edition of the international Biennale of Casablanca. I spent 4 days there and met a lot of very unique artists that I would have had no chance to meet at once in other circumstance.
Encounter with Amine Oulmakki
“iput on the veil of life”
His title which comes up from a Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam , in English is “I putted the veil of the life”. The first impression of the title is rather negative because the veil , for non islamic people, means to hide or to neglect women . But his meaning is the total opposite of this. This is a image of his wife’s belly who was in the 6th month of pregnancy with their first baby. Amine was so excited and amused that with the title he wanted to explain the wonder of life . For him, explained Amid , putting on a veil is seeing, because in his area in Morocco women have 2 veils: one is to ocreate and the other that is inside the 1 st veil is semi-transparent. So the 2nd one is to show. In this case the veil is used to show how the person is beautiful and how the world is wonderful.
In his area people practice Sufism. This is a mystic faith from 11th century, known for the Turkish religious spinning that more than 10 minutes and sometime for hours . They believe mystic power in Sun , Moon and water. . So the image of his wife’s belly is moonlike.
And what intrigued me is the connection with Rudolph Steiner who was a key person of esoteric thinking who made a huge influence to Josef Beuys and many artists who followed him, like Fluxsas, body art land art, performance art , in some the contemporary art . Steiner studied Soufism, indien mystic and Christian middle age mystics. Amin is also connected with the contemporary art by Sufism and Steiner.
His video work is black and white covered by a real veil enveloping the monitor screen . As his work was hidden underneath some steps , he made a very long veil to guide us to the work.
He wanted to make an effect by using this semi-transparent veil , that the image in Black and white has a very tiny reflection of color because of this veil. . “The veil reveals the color” said Amid.
That was a great experience for me to understand that the veil could make someone not only see, but see more . This is the complexity of the world of paradox. “Oulmakki discovered the “blind gaze” hidden within him by photographing his great grandmother as she became affected by disease which made her blind. It is through this first. photographic experience that Oulmakki found his visual language. He exhibited this series, “The work in black or the part of the shadow ” only 8 years later, in 2014″ (quote from catalogue)
This civilisation is effectively hiding various contradictions and paradoxes that make them mysterious and poetic.
Thierry Geoffroy conceptual artist, activist. Always with blue helmet.
Performance by Yoriyas fellows. Yoriyas is Moroccan photographer and former champion of Hip Hop dance.