Lydia Ourahmane
The you in us
26 January 2018 – 25 March 2018
Opening: Thursday 25 January

Chisenhale Gallery presents The you in us, a new commission and the first solo exhibition in an institution by London and Oran-based artist Lydia Ourahmane. Comprising installation, sculpture and sound, Ourahmane’s exhibition continues her ongoing engagement with the emotional, psychological and political charge of material and place. Informed by personal encounters, Ourahmane’s work raises questions surrounding systems of exchange and dissemination.

Recurring throughout Ourahmane’s work is the impulse to address acts of displacement, in which allegories of absence and removal evoke wider issues of place and migration. Influenced by time spent living and working from her family home in Oran, Algeria, Ourahmane’s exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery investigates transformation through sonic and sculptural registers.

Works within the exhibition resonate through acts of cause and effect between materials, the audience and Ourahmane herself. Central to the show is a new sound work, Paradis (2018), which is embedded within, and amplified from a temporary wooden floor installed throughout the gallery. This work combines audio from field recordings made by Ourahmane whilst in Oran with sound scores composed and performed by the artist and her collaborators.

In the Absence of our Mothers (2015-18) consists of a single gold tooth, which resides in the gallery space, and a duplicate gold tooth that is implanted within Ourahmane’s mouth. This work is shown alongside documents referencing Ourahmane’s grandfather’s resistance to military service under the French occupation of Algeria by extracting his own teeth. The archive also refers to the documents’ current use by his descendants to claim French citizenship by right of blood. Heavy silver doors, treated black with sulphur, mark the entrance to the gallery. Over the duration of the exhibition, as visitors and gallery staff interact with the doors by entering and exiting the space, the blackened surface slowly reverts back to silver.

Explored through a non-linguistic approach to narrative – such as the use of deep listening and visceral engagement – Ourahmane implements both her own body and the body of the viewer to ask questions including, how is localised trauma felt on a collective level and how do forms of resilience and respite manifest? Explored in relation to Ourahmane’s subjectivity and political agency, this major body of work pursues lived experience as matter and as form.

Acting as a companion to the sound installation Ourahmane has produced Paradis, 11.10.2017, 23:45 (2018), a moving image commission for Chisenhale Gallery’s website. Ourahmane recorded the silent video on her phone in Paradis Plage, Oran, during a production trip in October 2017. To watch the video, please click here. Ourahmane has also produced a new edition comprising 13 hand printed photographs. Displayed in the gallery’s front of house, each photograph references the spaces Ourahmane was working within while developing this new commission.

As part of the commissioning process, a programme of discursive events has been devised in collaboration with Ourahmane, including talks at the gallery and offsite events at local schools and partner organisations. Ourahmane’s exhibition commences Chisenhale Gallery’s programme for 2018, which includes major new commissions by artists Paul Maheke, Banu Cennetoğlu and Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Through her work, Ourahmane raises complex questions concerning the effects of geographic boarders on bodies and how systems of governance influence everyday experience, themes which recur throughout Chisenhale Gallery’s programme for 2018.

Lydia Ourahmane (b. 1992, Saϊda, Algeria) lives and works between London and Oran. Exhibitions include 2018 New Museum Triennial: Songs for Sabotage, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (forthcoming 2018); a good neighbour, 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017); Social Calligraphies, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2016); and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2014).

Lydia Ourahmane’s exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery is supported by the Arab Foundation for Arts and Culture (AFAC); Mophradat Aisbl Grants for Artists; Joe and Marie Donnelly; and Nicoletta Fiorucci, founder of the Fiorucci Art Trust. With additional support from the Lydia Ourahmane Supporters Circle. With special thanks to Weber Industries.

Chisenhale Gallery’s Commissions Programme 2017-19 is supported by the LUMA Foundation.

Chisenhale Gallery’s Curatorial Trainee Programme 2016-18 is supported by Sirine and Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh.

Lydia Ourahmane

13 hand-printed photographs on Fuji Crystal Archive DP II in a bespoke archive box
19.5 x 27.5 cm
Edition of 6

Special launch price: £2,400
Chisenhale Friends' price: £2,160

*Please note that Chisenhale Friends price is available to those who have supported the gallery via the Benefactors scheme. For more information on the scheme please click here.

Please note that, as is the norm for limited edition works, prices will increase as an edition sells out.

To discuss availability, delivery options and purchasing, please email Fran Futers, fran.futers@chisenhale.org.uk

Comprising installation, sculpture and sound, Lydia Ourahmane’s new exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery continues her ongoing engagement with the emotional, psychological and political charge of material and place. Informed by personal encounters, Ourahmane’s work raises questions surrounding systems of exchange and dissemination. Recurring throughout Ourahmane’s work is the impulse to address acts of displacement, in which allegories of absence and removal evoke wider issues of place and migration.

To accompany the exhibition, Ourahmane has produced notes on the wait (2018), an edition comprising 13 hand printed photographs, presented in a bespoke archival box designed by the artist. Selected from the artist’s personal archive, the photographs were taken on 35mm film during her recent trips to Algeria, as research for her Chisenhale Gallery commission.

Comprising a series of urban and rural landscapes, the photographs take the viewer on a journey through Oran and its surrounding areas. notes on the wait (2018) explores displacement and ownership in relation to Ourahmane’s ongoing practice and personal history.

The photographs are displayed at the foyer of the gallery in their portfolio box, alongside two framed photographs that are hung on the wall. You are invited to look through the images in the box, but we please ask you to use the gloves provided.

Lydia Ourahmane (b. 1992, Saϊda, Algeria) lives and works between London and Oran. Exhibitions include 2018 New Museum Triennial: Songs for Sabotage, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (forthcoming 2018); a good neighbour, 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017); Social Calligraphies, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2016); and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2014).

  • Exhibition
  • Chisenhale Gallery Friends and Patrons receive 10% discount on limited edition prints and publications priced up to the value of £3,500 For information about how to join the Friends and Patrons Programme please click here.

  • Chisenhale Gallery
    64 Chisenhale Road
    London E3 5QZ

    T: +44 (0)20 8981 4518 mail@chisenhale.org.uk

    For media enquiries please contact:
    media@chisenhale.org.uk or
    Ellen Greig on +44 (0)20 3328 1964 or ellen.greig@chisenhale.org.uk



Lydia Ourahmane
Paradis, 11.10.2017, 23:45 (2018)
25 January 2018

Lydia Ourahmane
Paradis, 11.10.2017, 23:45 (2018)
Silent video (7 minutes and 58 seconds)

As part of Lydia Ourahmane’s exhibition, The you in us, at Chisenhale Gallery (26 January – 25 March 2018) Ourahmane has produced a moving image commission for Chisenhale Gallery’s website. Paradis, 11.10.2017, 23:45 (2018), is a silent video by Ourahmane recorded on her phone in Paradis Plage, Oran, in October 2017. This online commission is a companion piece to Ourahmane’s new sound work, Paradis (2018), which is embedded within, and amplified from a temporary wooden floor installed across Chisenhale Gallery's exhibition space. To find out more about Lydia Ourahmane's exhibition, please click here.

Lydia Ourahmane
Friday 26 January

Friday 16 March, 7.00pm
Lydia Ourahmane hosts an evening of live sound performance at her home in Brixton. This event was programmed in association with Lydia Ourahmane's exhibition, 'The you in us', at Chisenhale Gallery.

Friday 26 January, 7pm
Youssef Ourahmane responds to Lydia Ourahmane’s exhibition, expanding on the narrative behind Ourahmane’s new work, In the Absence of our Mothers (2015-18), part of her new Chisenhale Gallery commission.

Saturday 24 February, 2pm
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith leads a gallery tour of Lydia Ourahmane’s new exhibition 'The you in us' at Chisenhale Gallery. Mac Giolla Léith is Associate Professor in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore at University College Dublin and writes extensively on contemporary art.

Youssef Ourahmane responds to The you in us

Friday 26 January, 4pm

Youssef Ourahmane responds to Lydia Ourahmane’s exhibition, expanding on the narrative behind Ourahmane’s new work, In the Absence of our Mothers (2015-18), part of her new Chisenhale Gallery commission. This event is free to attend but booking is recommended. To reserve a place please visit our Eventbrite page here.  

Lydia Ourahmane in conversation with Venetia Porter

Wednesday 31 January, 7pm

Lydia Ourahmane is joined in conversation by Venetia Porter, Assistant Keeper (Curator), Islamic and contemporary Middle East at the British Museum, to discuss Ourahmane’s previous work in relation to her new commission. This event is free to attend but booking is recommended. To reserve a place please visit our Eventbrite page here.  

The you in us: Coffee Morning

Friday 9 February, 9 – 10.30am

An early morning viewing of Lydia Ourahmane’s exhibition, with an introduction to the work by Eliel Jones, Curatorial Assistant: Commissions, at Chisenhale Gallery. Coffee and cakes are generously provided by the East End Women’s Institute.  

Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith leads a tour

Saturday 24 February, 2pm

Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith leads a gallery tour of Lydia Ourahmane’s new exhibition. Mac Giolla Léith is Associate Professor in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore at University College Dublin and writes extensively on contemporary art. This event is free to attend but booking is recommended. To reserve a place please visit our Eventbrite page here.

The you in us: Introduced by Ellen Greig

Thursday 1 March, 7pm

In conjunction with late night gallery openings across East London, and programmed in association with First Thursdays, Ellen Greig, Curator: Commissions at Chisenhale Gallery, gives an introduction to Ourahmane’s new exhibition. The talk will be followed by a listening event with artist Hiba Ismail, who will translate the lyrics of songs from a selection of 7-inch vinyl by musician Mohamed Belkhayati. This event is free to attend but booking is recommended. To reserve a place please visit our Eventbrite page here.

The Soundhoppers Workshop

Saturday 3 March, 2pm

The Soundhoppers lead a workshop for families exploring listening and the different properties of sound through play, using a range of soundboxes and games. This workshop is suitable for children aged 5 – 11 years. This event is free to attend but booking is recommended. To reserve a place please visit our Eventbrite page here.