Abdessamad El Montassir


  • Oeuvre - Abdessamad El Montassir
    Al Amakine - 2020 - Exhibition view of Chroniques – Biennale des Imaginaires Numériques. Photography by Pierre Gondard © Abdessamad El Montassir / ADAGP, Paris
  • Oeuvre - Abdessamad El Montassir
    Al Amakine - 2020 - Detail, lightbox photographic installation and sound piece 8.1. © Abdessamad El Montassir / ADAGP, Paris

Working with scientists, citizen-witnesses and activists, Abdessamad El Montassir develops an artistic practice at the crossroads of research and creation. His works are the fruit of a meticulous process in which the collection of intangible testimonies revives oral memories that are often buried and silenced by a hegemonic official history.

Abdessamad El Montassir’s work and research revolve around three concepts that he has theorized: the right to forget, fictional and visceral narratives, and anticipatory trauma. Humans and non-human entities such as plants are treated with equal consideration, and the stories they tell reveal so many interstices from which a silent word and story emerge, offering new ways of understanding and living with the environment that surrounds us. Carrying eminently political, cultural and social dimensions, his works are notably inhabited by resistance, whether it concerns memory in the face of time, an oppressed word that is difficult to express, or a reaction to an established order.

Al Amakine, 2016-2020

Al Amakine follows the micro-stories and non-material archives of the South-Western Sahara in Morocco, made invisible or deliberately denied by the official historical discourse. Transmitted in a poetic language, these testimonies reveal critical political, cultural and social events that took place in this geographical area. By reactivating these unknown narratives, Al Amakin sets a freeing possibility for endogenous and alternative history of this territory.

Through a set of photographs of symbolic places and endemic plants and sound works, Al Amakine unfolds a singular atlas traced by the trajectories of anonymous women and men.

On a larger scale, Al Amakin wishes to be an opening towards stories and geographical spaces outside official maps and histories.


Project supported by Le Cube - independent art room, Carte Blanche by Al Safar, Institut Français du Maroc, Pro Helvetia Cairo, IMéRA with the help of Labex RFIEA+, the Chroniques platform coordinated by SECONDE NATURE and ZINC and the gmem-CNCM-Marseille.