This solo presentation by Lydia Ourahmane combines new and older works by the artist that are continually in pro- cesses of alteration and revision. Dealing with acts of displacement, the presence of absence and nonlinear histories, Ourahmane’s installation at Kevin Space navigates the possibility to disperse individual and localised memories in- scribed within materials into collective and spatial experiences.
The English word “displacement” encompasses both the movement of materials and people, inherent in Ourahmane’s works, where the latter is often symbolized and brought into experience through the former. In German, for instance, one can distinguish between „Vertreibung“ describing an individual or a certain group of people being forced to leave through political or economical measurements, and „Verschiebung“ which relates to the movement of materials, or an idea, or object, from one place and reading to another. It is synonymous with a ‚shift’ of perspective or context.
The unresolved presence of almost 400kg of fertile, red soil smuggled from Medea, Algeria, is walked on and spread and inhaled. The material acts as witness to the histories imbued in its present state which permeate without changing its physical properties. This confrontation is initiated upon entrance into the space, where silver door handles, treated black with sulphur, fade back to their original color through touch, acting as a record of each body having been present.
A folder of documents features those relating to her grandfather and her father, as both were born during colonial rule. By law, people of the post-colony are still eligible for French nationality, as Algeria was considered an extension to France.
These legal bureaucratic procedures are however an act of impossibility for most Algerians as citizenship needs to be claimed on French soil, turning the unattainability into a perversion. Ourahmane records the ongoing process andlegal model for herself claiming French Nationality by right of blood, confronting citizenship through the quantificationof documents and bodies.