Mehdi Meddaci was a revelation in this year’s Recontres d’Arles, where he presented a sound-video installation on five simultaneous screens. This impressive work was a striking visual and sensory experience. Here is an excerpt.
"My visual work remains at a distance from the poetic, reflecting a deep attachment to the Mediterranean. It is built from layers of autonomous mechanisms and modules, as in Corps Traversés (2007), Lancer une pierre (2008), and Sans-titre, Alger la blanche (2009), which bring together photography, video and cinema.
On the model of the “Sea in the middle of the earth”, everything lies in the movement, between sound and image, between document and artifice, between the swaying of bodies and the vividness of landscapes. The montage keeps alive in the viewer a desire to deconstruct to reconstruct, giving importance to the presence of possible worlds.
The visible is carried by the strange sensation of something missing, History perhaps. By altering the signs of this story, I attempt to reaffirm an endangered continuity on the edge of extinction. My photographs show, literally and metaphorically, a body immersed on two shores. People are framed head-on but absent, anchored in a powerful sociopolitical setting"
Mehdi Meddaci was born in 1980 in Montpellier, France, to an Algerian family. After graduating with a degree in visual arts from the Université de Toulouse Le Mirail, he studied at the Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains and the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d'Arles.
Galerie Odile Ouizeman