Ya Rayah (O, You Who Are Departing) is the title borrowed from an Algerian song from the ‘70s written by Dahmane El Harrachi before Leila Alaoui was born in Paris in 1982. The exhibition opens with the photographic series Les Marocains, the result of a voyage across Morocco with the support of a mobile studio, which offers an intimate and vivacious portrait of a Nation through its inhabitants. Faces of women and men, Arabs and Berbers, the aged and the young which represent a mosaic of cultures, traditions and varying aesthetics, are placed next to the portraits of the young Moroccan looking for a ride in Europe, the protagonist of the first photographic project of Alaoui, No Pasara. There are also migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, looking for a better life on the other side of the Mediterranean, immortalised in the series Crossings and the video images of L'Île du Diable, an unfinished project dedicated to migrant workers in the old Renault factory in Boulogne-Billancourt. Constantly shifting from documentary to visual art, the work of Leila Alaoui is promoted by the Foundation that bears her name, created after her premature death in a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou in January 2016, where she was working with Amnesty International to defend women’s rights in Burkina Faso.
Chen Shaoxiong, Ren Jian and Wang Jing were the protagonists of indelible moments in the world of Chinese art in the 90s.