On the occasion of the Cities theme week of the Dubai World Expo, Art Explora is exhibiting the works of 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 artistic program of the World Expo with as many people as possible.
Landscape stream, 2021, Ink on paper, 50 x 70 cm
Courtesy of the artist
Artwork presented in the metro station Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre and in front of the French Pavilion of the Dubai World Expo.
The artwork on paper Landscape Stream (2021), a landscape of entangled trees, forming rings, lies at the heart of Achraf Touloub’s praxis. His work consists of examining complex and intimate connections between the development of communication technologies and the symbolic power of tradition. In these circular trees, whose roots are intertwined with the extensions of branches, there is a desire to understand nature at a time when a whole segment of reality is manifested through cables and interfaces. In his artistic treatment, the artist also wanted “to draw time”, infinitely repeating strokes like commas, punctuating the paper and adopting a symbolic line and texture inspired by miniature Persian in its structure and spirit. This composition of a landscape in flux is an allegory, that of a world in which the fundaments of modernity are found in levitation, announcing the return of metaphysics, within a cyclical relationship to history. Ironically, this return is the result of the development of dematerialised technological tools.
Lataïf, 2016-2020, Watercolour on paper, 35 x 52 cm
Courtesy de l'artiste et Galeria Plan B
Artwork presented on Jumeirah Road in Dubai.
The artwork Lataïf belongs to a series of studies in the form of watercolours, created between 2016 and 2019. Between sensuality and abstraction, the artist tends to pictorially suggest the simultaneous dimensions (physical, virtual, spiritual) through which our bodies are currently deployed. According to the artist, these “dimensions” are constantly evolving: the body, in “its conditions, contours, and meaning” are caught up in a perpetual process of redefinition, evolving with each new industrial or technological update. His composition combines bodies and psyches, in a similar vein to the cubo-futurist tradition, with its intersecting silhouettes and repeated figures fracturing the surface. These layers of reality are an invitation to feel the effects of a present that stretches out as though towards infinity. By extension, it concerns the stakes of our own perception in a hyperconnected world.
Biography of the artist
Achraf Touloub was born in Casablanca (Morocco) in 1986. He lives and works in Paris. His work explores the links between the notion of tradition and new communication technologies in a globalised world. He strives to envisage the initiatory and immersive dimensions inherent to the technological tools that, paradoxically, echo the representational strategies of a primordial period. His pictorial works have led to his interest in diverse forms of representation, from the Persian miniature to the futurist aesthetic, in which he outlines the transformations of a world since the advent of digital technologies and the redefinition of our bodies. Graduating from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, his work was exhibited in many institutions throughout the world and notably at the Venice Biennale in 2017. In 2021, his project Une fenêtre pour un monde [A Window for a World] was selected for the residency programme organised jointly by Art Explora and the Cité internationale des arts. The artist is represented by the galleries Baronian Xippas (Brussels) and PLAN B (Berlin).
Discover the artworks of the seven other artists presented in the exhibition "Autres habitants"
With the support of