Katia Kameli

Hier revient et je l’entends (Yesterday is returning and I hear it)

Curated by Émilie Renard et Bérénice Saliou
| Produced by Institut des Cultures d’Islam et Bétonsalon
19 janvier – 16 avril 2023
– vernissage 18 janvier 2023

From the 19th of January to the 16th of April 2023, the Institut des Cultures d’Islam and Bétonsalon present “Hier revient et je l’entends” a solo show by Katia Kameli.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, Katia Kameli has been developing a dense and multifaceted body of work. Grounded in two cultures – French and Algerian – she questions the blind spots of history, taking up the role of an intermediary between different territories. Following the paths she has chosen, she makes connections between distant facts, repairs broken relationships and ensures the voices of those who have been ignored are heard. While doing so, she writes a counter-narrative in which her different subjects of research mingle and combine to weave together a multitude of perspectives. Katia Kameli’s work lies at the crossroads of poetry, visual studies and artisanal techniques. It is the fruit of a construction of relationships, relations that are built out of affinity, proximity and friendship. Her first solo show in these two Parisian cultural institutions brings together an ensemble of existing works and her new productions.

The exhibition at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam puts her creations of the last 20 years under the spotlight. It showcases a consistent approach in which narratives circulate and are transformed, transposed and superposed across different places and times. In the exhibition, Katia Kameli takes on the role of a translator: her photos, videos, drawings and installations bring into play a formal and conceptual language that comes together in an in-between space situated between different languages, sounds, aesthetics and cultures. The Canticle of the Birds, a project co-produced by La Criée, Centre d’Art Contemporain in Rennes includes a video she filmed in the Goutte d’Or neighbourhood of Paris in partnership with the Conservatoire du 18e – Gustave Charpentier. Stream of stories, a work that addresses the theme of metamorphosis in Kalîla wa Dimna, the fables that inspired Jean de La Fontaine, is enhanced by a tufted tapestry designed in collaboration with textile artist Manon Daviet.

The exhibition at Bétonsalon is organised around The Algerian Novel; it presents the three videos that comprise the latter (shot between 2016 and 2019) and reveals Katia Kameli’s research for an eventual fourth chapter that takes as its starting point La Nouba des femmes du mont Chenoua, a film directed by the Algerian filmmaker and novelist Assia Djebar in 1977. By basing itself on the first Algerian film directed by a woman (copies of which still circulate today), Katia Kameli seems to pursue the work of Djebar, who looked back at the stories of women in the resistance during the war for independence in the town and mountains of Cherchell. By collecting accounts from women of different generations, she composes a polyphonic, living narrative in which personal and collective stories are made audible amidst the complexities of a colonial past.


(haut) Extrait du Roman algériens – Chapitre 3 © Katia Kameli et (bas) Vue de l’exposition Cantique des oiseaux, la Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes ©Marc Domage