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Tarek Lakhrissi (born 1992 in Châtellerault, France. Lives and works in Paris) is a French artist and poet with a background in literature who explores sociopolitical narratives and speculative situations of transformation and magic through text, film, installation, and performance.
Lakhrissi has been exhibited internationally in galleries and institutions including Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney as part of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney; Wiels, Brussels; Palazzo Re Rebaudengo/Sandretto, Guarene/Torino; Manchester International Festival; Mostyn, Llandudno; Tinguely Museum, Basel; HKW, Berlin; Shedhalle, Zurich; Fondation Ricard, Paris; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Roma as part of the Quadriennale di Roma; High Art, Paris; La Verrière, Fondation d'enterprise Hermès, Brussles; Kevin Space, Vienna; Hayward Gallery, London; Auto Italia South East, London; Fondation Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; L'Espace Arlaud, Lausanne; Zabriskie, Geneva; Fondation Gulbenkian, Paris; Veda gallery, Florence; CRAC Alsace; Kim?, Riga; Artexte, Montreal; La Gaité Lyrique, Paris; and SMC/CAC, Vilnius.
Lakhrissi's artworks are held in private and public collections such as Defares Collection, Netherlands; Fondazione Sandretto Collection, Italy; Fondation Lafayette Anticipations, France; CNAP, France; FRAC Aquitaine MÉCA, France; FRAC Grand Large, France; IAC Villeubane, France; FMAC, France; Fiorucci Art Trust, UK and Italy; Mauro Mattei Art Trust, UK and Italy and the Johns Hopkins University Collection.
Upcoming exhibitions include solo presentations at Flatland Projects, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK; Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France and Collective, Edinburg, UK and also group exhibitions at Mécènes du Sud, Montpellier, France, Centrale Fies, Dro, Italy, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany and UKS, Oslo, Norway.
Tarek Lakhrissi investigates means of entry, re-imagining constraining spaces by conjuring the metaphysical space of ‘hell’. Drawing from his background in literature, Lakhrissi delves into a revised version of Dante’s Inferno, considering Monique Wittig’s lesbian re-writing of the same. In Wittig’s experimental narration, ‘l’enfer’ is a place with rigid conditions, both social and climatic. But unlike Dante’s story, hell is often more common-looking than it seems: it’s accessed via a bar or a pool club, and it’s a place or a situation where Wittig is faced with difficult decisions that put into question her choices in a normative world. Lakhrissi’s work embraces the queer tools embedded in Wittig’s quest, making space for transformative narratives. If ‘hell’ is a place where undesirables are relegated, then Lakhrissi makes it hospitable for all those who are ‘other’.
— Giulia Civardi
You can now enter
The bright room
Fix your hair
Check your clothes
Kiss your bones
Use your mouth
With beautiful words
Use your trauma
Make it fashionable
Tell whatever stories
Leave the room
Whisper secrets in another language
Find a garden with flowers
Cry in silence.
— Tarek Lakhrissi
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Out of the Blue is Tarek Lakhrissi's most significant film work to date, commissioned and first exhibited at La Galerie CAC, Noisy-Le-Sec, FR. It is a Science Fiction short film that takes place at a radical moment in time when our politically conservative era is suddenly at a threat and coming to an end because of an alien invasion. The invasion begins with the kidnapping all the CEOs of large corporations whilst sparing of the most vulnerable in society to create a liberation of existence under capitalism. Drawing on the rich writings of queer futurity, Lakhrissi avoids traditional apocaly ...
Spiraling - spelt with one L - is Tarek Lakhrissi’s most recent film work produced during May 2021 with Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE in collaboration with Shedhalle, Zürich, CH. The video features queer activist pole dancer Mila Furie performing a routine on a pole in which the spiral is a regular action set in the middle of the authoritarian architecture of one of Haus der Kunst’s galleries. Lakhrissi considers the spiral to be a positive and meditative movement that enables someone to twist and adapt to a situation in which someone feels lost, weary or uncomfortable socially. In a recent int ...
Hard to Love is the first experimental video directed by Tarek Lakhrissi. The video is a visual poem about languages, words and love, reflecting on the hard relationship between a lover and three different languages: French, English and Arabic. By interweaving these languages, Lakhrissi takes a wandering through the literature that he writes and performs. Quoting Cedric Fauq "the integration, we learn with Tarek Lakhrissi, is also the condition of feeling unable to be desired, to be loved, ultimately asking: How does one escape the stigma of colonialism and xenophobia when it comes to loving ...
BETRAYING TIME AND SPACE was produced for the artist’s first solo show in the UK, Perfume of Traitors (2021) at VITRINE, London. It was part of an installation comprising of a new series of metal sculptures which exist somewhere between swords and signs. The works continue the artist’s research into the need to defend oneself as a political practice and building a new language through visual forms. The work of French writer Jean Genet has been a large influence on Lakhrissi’s work and life. For Perfume of Traitors, Lakhrissi has drawn on the philosophy of betrayal that Gene ...
Commissioned for the artist’s first institutional solo show in the UK My Immortal at MOSTYN, Llandudno, UK, As a Part of Survival... is 1 of 10 aluminium tablets currently being exhibited in the show. The reflective metal plaques are each inscribed with new poems written by the artist about desire, loss and personal mythologies, becoming commemorations for different members of his close community. The text is UV printed onto the aluminium surface, a process that uses ultra-violet lights to dry or cure ink as it is printed. Having a background in literature, Lakhrissi’s works derive ...
Tarek Lakhrissi had a recorded conversation with curator Cédric Fraq in Paris, July, 2021. The video presents a 23 minute extract of a 1 hour interview. Please email us for the full interview as an audio file.
Tarek Lakhrissi is a French artist and poet with a background in literature. He works across installation, performance, film, text and sculpture, engaging with political and social issues around transformative narratives within language, magic, weirdness, codes and love.
His background in literature draws influence from feminist and queer writers, such as Elsa Dorlin, Jean Genet, Monique Wittig and José Esteban Muñoz. Each project Lakhrissi initiates derives from text, poetry and language, which are his primary obsessions, before translating ideas from these mediums into ...