Mariam Abouzid Souali‘s works, imbued with a poetic, metaphorical art, provoke profound reflection on the place of the individual in a globalized world. Her new solo exhibition entitled “Stardust” will be presented at Cécile Fakhoury’s art gallery in Paris. Running until October 07, 2023, this exhibition will highlight an imposing series of works that bear witness to the fierce and costly struggles faced by citizens of the South.
Moroccan painter Mariam Abouzid Souali was born in 1989 in Targuist, Morocco. After graduating from the Institut National des Beaux-arts de Tétouan in 2012, she went on to study French literature and art history at Mohamed V University in Rabat, then at Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Martil. In 2014, she undertook a doctoral thesis and was awarded the prestigious Fulbright scholarship to pursue her research at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, USA.
Today, Mariam Abouzid Souali lives in Tétouan, Morocco, where she maintains her studio and produces paintings that denounce the relentless acceleration of inequality, a reality rooted at the heart of the neoliberal capitalist system and one of the most dramatic consequences of the migration crisis. The paintings in the “Stardust” exhibition offer curious and striking pictorial testimonies to our current contemporary condition, immersed in a century shaken by internal and external upheavals urging us to adopt survival strategies as well as forms of resilience and solidarity between peoples.
In her work, Mariam Abouzid Souali manages to capture the tragic aspect of migratory narratives while paying homage to the first victims of this tragedy. Despite the proliferation of media images of this dramatic story, the Mediterranean cemetery continues to pile up the graves of migrants. This reality speaks volumes about the myth of global citizenship, giving it an illusory and parodic character before it even exists.
The figure of the child is also central to the contemporary artist’s work. Almost all her paintings depict images of children or even adolescents, enabling her to build a bridge between the commercial, industrial world order and the world of play. She also subtracts the world of sport from its original perception, integrating it into her paintings to present social, environmental and geopolitical issues observed from the coasts of Morocco from a new angle.
In his artistic practice, the children painted on his canvases wear a double mask, that of innocence and knowledge, and are assigned the role of protagonist depending on the meaning of the work. At times focused on a game, left to their own devices or wandering without a main goal, they manage to turn their indiscreet gazes towards unexplored places. This protagonist vision is further reinforced in the “Stardust” exhibition, where children and teenagers appear in sporting contexts, ready to overcome mountains, reach for the stars and brave all the difficulties encountered in a sporting competition. These are metaphorical paintings in which Mariam Abouzid Souali reveals the struggle waged by these young beings between the astral world and the industrialized world, an unbridled industrialization that the system tries to conceal, but which recurs tirelessly in the artist’s series of works.
Mariam Abouzid Souali also lends a mythological character to her canvases, presenting these athletes as mirages drawn between points of moving constellations. The children depicted in her works are linked to cosmic forces and astral interpretations. This form of representation offers a heroic vision of these characters, presenting them as individuals in the conquest of space, while the persistence of industrial landscapes and other ghostly post-petroleum infrastructures spread their share of ecological concerns, opposite both human beings and the soil, while also indexing relationships of economic and human exploitation.
Through a unique artistic practice inspired by many elements, Mariam Abouzid Souali remains faithful to a humanist vision and conveys her perception of the world in each of her creations. The multiple messages contained in her works of the exhibition “Stardust” are set against starry backgrounds, drawing the protagonists of her paintings into the cosmos, the place of all possibilities.