Sunday, May 15, 2016

Révéler L’Etoffe No.2: An Investigative Body of Photographic Portraits by Artists Maya-Ines Touam and Thomas Echegut

Révéler L’Etoffe II
Maya-Ines Touam and Thomas Echegut

Opening Reception May 19 2016 6-9pm
By Appointment Only May 19- June 7

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2016, New York. OZANEAUX ArtSpace is pleased to present Révéler L’Etoffe II, an investigative body of photographic portraits by artists Maya-Ines Touam and Thomas Echegut that challenge outsider scrutiny projected onto the Hijab from the perspective of the wearer. 

The exhibition will juxtapose the first two consecutive bodies of work (Algiers 2014 and Oran 2016) in the ongoing series Révéler L'Etoffe.  The series ultimately aims toward social exploration of the Hijab in each cardinal direction of Algeria. French collaborators, Touam and Echegut, seek out local women of variant age and social status who wear Hijabs. The artists engage with the women, questioning their personal relationship to the Hijab and their individual interpretation of its social implications.  For the religious who can not or do not want to be photographed, the artists use Franco-Algerian friends and family to pose in the wearer's cloths, literally, staged according to the wearer's experience. The subjects are all  photographed to visually express and, ideally, transcend the relevant said relationship. 

Collectively, the series expands on individual relationships to the veil and illustrates a diversity that is overlooked in western debates about the Hijab. By implication, the work confronts the ethnocentrism in the western world’s ‘single-story’ of the Hijab. 

Where post-colonial Art has been limited in its approach to the “modern veil” both in it’s critical stance and semantics, Révéler L’Etoffe breaches the ethnocentric lens of foreign critique as such that it behaves as a clearing for the subject to candidly express its own reality. In true Socratic fashion, the viewer is left moved, not with answers, rather, more questions. 

The work was produced by the Collective HAB.B. and with the support of the French Institute in Algiers. 

The Oran work will debut in New York City, May 19 2016, at OZANEAUX ArtSpace, in juxtaposition to the Algiers series.

Please Join us in welcoming both Artists from France at the Opening Reception on May 19, 2016, 6-9pm.

Maya-Ines Touam & Thomas Echegut met in 2011, studying at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France.  They began collaborating on the Reveler L’Etoffe project in Algiers, Algeria, 2014.  Maya is the lead in artistic direction, particularly in areas of iconography and academic research.  Thomas leads on technical aspects of photography direction and post-production editing and rendering. Their joint work, relevant social discourse, discussions and experience collectively manifest their collaborative vision.

OZANEAUX ArtSpace is an alternative space created by Nikki Schiro and Frederic Ozaneaux that houses exhibitions for emerging contemporary artists. The space is situated in a Chelsea loft office space, in the heart of New York City’s Gallery District. The artists selected radicalize traditional forms and ideas by their play with relationships; with a great emphasis on women artists and foreign/cultural exchange.

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