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Q&A with artist Massinissa Selmani – our current Mosaic Rooms studio resident

Q1/ Please can you introduce yourself, and tell us where people may have previously encountered your work in the UK?

I was born in Algiers, but now live and work in France. In general, my practice is an experimentation of drawing. I’m interested in documentary forms and newspaper clippings that I explore through drawing.

My first exhibition in the UK was at The Mosaic Rooms in 2014. This was a mixed media group show with myself and five other Algerian artists. I presented installation Diar Echems (Maisons du soleil) (2013-2014), a work inspired by the overcrowded neighbourhood of Diar Echems in Algiers, which is known for the riots that took place in protest against squalid housing conditions. The piece considered the development of a slum on the site of an adjacent football pitch, and the new social and spatial order this created.

installation Diar Echems (Maisons du soleil) by Massinissa Selmani

installation Diar Echems (Maisons du soleil) by Massinissa Selmani

Q2/ You recently took part in London’s 1:54 art fair. What did you do there?

During the 1:54, I presented drawings and took part in the artists talks. I was in conversation with Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation

Q3/ You have been busy since your exhibition at The Mosaic Rooms, can you tell us about some of your recent activities/shows and any upcoming projects?

After the Mosaic Rooms, I was selected for Dakar Biennale. A few months later, I was invited by Okwui Onwezor to the Venice biennale 2015:

Then I was invited by Ralph Rugoff to the Lyon biennale, where I also did a residency with Veduta platform as a partner of the biennale. I also did a residency in Mexico in lithography studio.

In addition to this, I have taken part in some group exhibitions and arts fairs and a solo show at the Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré in France.

Actually, I’m working on an experimental animated short film and working on new projects experimenting with drawing. I will also publish my first Monography (in ibook format) soon, with Naima Editions in France.

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