Until Sun 12 September

Charif Benhelima – ‘The End of a Line’

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Charif Benhelima – ‘The End of a Line’ © Charif Benhelima, série Cul de sac, untitled #2, 2002-2020, 70 x 125 cm


The lines of force that run through Charif Benhelima’s work converge for the most part on the question of identity. If this problematic is anchored in an assumed autobiographical relationship, it resonates in his work with experiences other than his own, with a universalism linked to the question of the other, the foreigner.

The invitation to exhibit at Contretype was embraced by Charif Benhelima in the continuity of these concerns and reveals a hitherto unpublished work: a set of photographs taken in Brazil between 2002 and 2003 at the Colônia Juliano Moreira. Named after the psychiatrist and pioneer of psychoanalysis in Brazil, Juliano Moreira (1872-1933), who gave it its name, this mental health institution was created in 1924. It was established on a vast territory - originally an agricultural colony - in the Rio de Janeiro region. Welcoming psychiatric patients, as well as alcoholics and so-called “deviants”, this institution, allowed Moreira to put into practice a different vision of psychiatry, refusing to lock up patients and allowing them to live with their families. The site of the Colônia Juliano Moreira, an institution conceived as an open space, is still accessible to the public today.
Benhelima’s revival of these unpublished archives occurred in light of the health crisis and the various measures that were imposed in an attempt to contain it, both suddenly and brutally.
The current context, therefore, induces an allegorical reading of the images taken at the Colônia Juliano Moreira, a place of communal living but where the residents are nonetheless recluse due to the disease, even in a vast open area.
Questions about mental health and how we choose to integrate it - or not - into our societies take on a special significance today, as the impact of the pandemic on the psyche has ended up claiming more victims than the Covid 19 virus itself. Danielle Leenaerts, exhibition curator (extract)

Charif Benhelima sera présent à l'ouverture de l'exposition le 09/06/2021 de 14 à 20H. Masque obligatoire. Réservation le 09/06/2021 obligatoire. Voir www.contretype.org Rubrique Réservation.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021 — Sunday, September 12, 2021


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