1-54 is excited to announce Paris-based artist Aïcha Snoussi’s special project installation titled Memorial to the drowned, produced by the MO.CO and Zinsou Foundation and presented by Galerie La La Lande. Located off the island of Zembra, the Drowned Burial Site now provides the first evidence of the rituals of a queer civilisation on the prehistoric coast of Cape Bon. The archaeology of the Mediterranean coasts has revealed very little data on the beliefs and ritual practices of this civilisation that disappeared under the waters.
A national park today, the island of Zembra is located 50 km from the port of La Goulette, in the bay of Tunis. In the 5th millennium, Zembra was a camp of lovers of the Tchech culture, also called Zindiennet, where engraved tombs have been found. Poetry, the main activity of the occupants of the place, was practiced with a mixture of distilled ink and burnt black wool, applied with amberjack bones. The tchechs of Zembra have, since that time, travelled between the two shores of the Mediterranean and maintained correspondences. When lovers did not return, bottles containing drawings and stories of dreams, desires, and crossings, were placed in circular mounds in the effigy of the missing to keep their memory alive and their power in the heart of the waves.
The work of Aïcha Snoussi questions the notions of identity and validity of norms and classifications through drawings and installations that mix fictions and archives. By blurring the tracks of reality to see the vestiges or the traces of a history that she has reinvented, the artist develops a personal mythology which refers to the episodes of our contemporary history (sexual identity and migration), while summoning a bundle of intimate references.
Aïcha Snoussi is the winner of the 2020 SAM Art Projects, which offers her an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo from April 15, 2022 to September 4, 2022.
Photos Cosmogonies MOCO 2021 © Marc Domage