Achraf Touloub

Other residents

To coincide with the Cities theme week of the Dubai World Expo, Art Explora is exhibiting works by eight internationally renowned French artists. Questioning the place of ecosystems in the urban environment, these works are presented simultaneously in several urban spaces, in Dubai as well as in Paris, in order to share the World Expo's artistic program with as many people as possible.

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Achraf Touloub

Landscape stream, 2021, Ink on paper, 50 x 70 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Presented in the Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre metro station and in front of the France Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo. 

The work on paper Landscape stream (2021), a landscape of trees intertwined to form rings, is at the heart of Achraf Touloub's thinking. His work explores the complex and intimate links between the development of communication technologies and the symbolic power of tradition. In these circular trees, where the roots mingle with the extensions of the branches, there is a desire to apprehend nature at a time when a whole section of reality is deployed in cables and interfaces. In his artistic treatment, the artist also wanted to "draw time", endlessly repeating lines like commas punctuating the paper and adopting a symbolic line and texture inspired by Persian miniature in its structure and breath. This composition of a landscape in flux is an allegory, that of a world where the foundations of modernity are levitated to announce, in a cyclical relationship with history, the return of metaphysics. Ironically, this return results from the development of dematerialized technological tools.

Achraf Touloub

Lataïf, 2016-2020, Watercolor on paper, 35 x 52 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Plan B

Work presented on Jumeirah Road, Dubai. 

The work Lataïf is part of a series of watercolor researches carried out between 2016 and 2019. Between sensuality and abstraction, the artist's aim here is to pictorially suggest the simultaneous dimensions [physical, virtual, in spirit] in which our bodies are deployed today. According to the artist, these "dimensions" are constantly evolving: the body, in "its conditions, contours and meaning", is caught up in a continuous process of redefinition, evolving with each new industrial or technological update. His composition, akin to cubo-futurism with its criss-crossing silhouettes and repeated figurations that fracture the surface, blends bodies and psyches. These superimposed planes of reality are an invitation to feel the effects of a present that stretches like an endless instant. And, by extension of this principle, it's a question of our own perception in a hyper-connected world.

The artist's biography

Achraf Touloub was born in Casablanca (Morocco) in 1986, and lives and works in Paris. His work explores the links between the notion of tradition and new communication technologies in a globalized world. He considers the initiatory and immersive dimensions of technological tools, which paradoxically echo strategies for representing primordial time. His pictorial work has led him to take an interest in diverse forms of representation, from Persian miniatures to futuristic aesthetics, in which the transformations of a world faced with digital technology and the redefinition of our bodies take shape. A graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, his work has been exhibited in numerous institutions around the world, including the 2017 Venice Biennale. In 2021, his project "Une fenêtre pour un monde" was selected for the residency program organized jointly by Art Explora and the Cité internationale des arts. The artist is represented by Baronian Xippas (Brussels) and PLAN B (Berlin). 

Discover the works of the seven other artists featured in the "Autres habitants" exhibition:

This project is supported by the French Institute of the United Arab Emirates, JCDecaux, the French Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo and RATP.

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