Nadia Seboussi

From November 19, 2015 to January 30, 2016
Opening on November 19 at 7 pm


Nadia Seboussi’s work takes up the question of armed conflict and what it gives rise to: violence, migration and exile. The works assembled for this exhibition take two paths that differ in their methods and formal approach but meet on the question of the legacy and the representation of the Algerian tragedy.

The testimony and documentation of the Algerian women who took up arms during the civil war are the starting point of the project and demonstrate the extent of the tragedy. They also speak, however, to the artist’s intimate familiarity with her topic. In addition to the women, tracked down all over Algeria, there are recurring references to the way in which relations between women have been painfully marked by the country’s history.

There follows the recreation in video tableaux of now-mythical depictions of the Algerian tragedy. Drawing on the iconography, full of pathos, transmitted by the world’s media outlets – with an emphasis on those of North Africa and the Middle East – and on a pictorial tradition depicting scenes of lamentation (also employed by Bill Viola), Seboussi creates sumptuous chiaroscuro frescos which propose a new choreography of grief. In the slow movement of the bodies, in the alternately consumed and ravaged faces, in the breaking down of the gestures that embody suffering, Seboussi proposes a moratorium for a period of mourning: Hidad.

In this exhibition, Nadia Seboussi’s work is seen alongside that of Gabriela Löffel and Léna Mill-Reuillard. Although each has a singular theme, the three artists examine the methodology of representation and what lies in the interstice between our vision of the world and the image, on the perceptual, socio-political and semantic levels alike. The three projects brought together here offer a gaze on the way we convey the world through images, thereby raising the entire question of the influence, transmission and rewriting of history.

Nadia Seboussi was born in Algeria and today lives in Montreal, where she completed a master’s degree in visual and media arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She was the recipient of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art in 2013. The present exhibition and the publication that will accompany it are the culmination of the project carried out under the fellowship. Her work has been shown in France, Spain, Mexico, Cuba and Canada. In 2014, she participated in the second edition of the Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento in Argentina.

This exhibition, as well as the publication that will accompany it, receives the support of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation.


This exhibition was organised for Dazibao by France Choinière, in close collaboration with the artist. We thank the artist for her generous collaboration as well as our members for their support.

Dazibao receives financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.