Le Voyage à Nantes and La Semitan have joined forces to invite the artist Chourouk Hriech to add her touch to two tramways, offering new occasions for users to encounter her pictorial and generous body of work as it travels throughout the territory, reaching out to the city and its inhabitants.
Since the early 2000s, after learning her craft at the Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Chourouk Hriech has exclusively drawn in black and white, offering viewers a stroll through space and time. Her works feature old and new architectures, both real and imaginary, characters, animals, vegetation and chimera – all populating a world in perpetual motion and eternal flux.
Chourouk Hriech explores the world, camera-in-hand and all 5 senses on alert, collecting data, and photographically foraging a territory, its habitat, population, vegetal and animal essences, the light that radiates through it and the sounds that inhabit it.
From this mass of samples, Chourouk Hriech extracts graphical, sensory details. She adds images taken from documentary research, then composes a drawn narrative of a territory that is filtered through the memory of her meanderings, as well as the fantasies and dreams that the given space inspired in her.
This subjective and unexpected vision of a territory reveals itself in her drawings like a procession through an imaginary map. Different strata of time, space and shape intertwine, planes overlap, angles multiply, scales expand, and images leap out, creating hybrid compositions inciting one to travel, dream, imagine, and simply wander.
In these “Voices of the Road” – as indicated in the artist’s chosen Italian title, “Voci della Strada” – Hriech recounts her discovery of Nantes through the actual encounters she made here, choosing to refer explicitly to several of the city’s architectural and urban landmarks: emblematic buildings, empty lots, the city’s ports and nearby sea, plant essences, art works in public spaces… but also by intensifying the memories and fantasies that this territory inspired in her.
“I like to explore and observe landscapes that offer themselves up to me, from top to bottom. The question of viewpoint is essential to me, as well as all the different details that might have caught my eye and set the motor of my thoughts in motion.
In my drawings, I like to reveal the visual traces of a mutating urbanism and a city’s unconscious – everything that made or makes them what they are before, with, and without us.
For Voci della strada, I imagined a drawn itinerary filled with memories and images that were taken from different spots in the city and elsewhere in order to best re-establish them in unusual cohabitations of shapes and silhouettes.
I hope a certain form of reality’s latent magic weaves its way into the temporalities and imaginations of travellers taking a tram or two, as well as the passersby outside.”
Chourouk Hriech was born in 1977. She lives and works in Marseilles.
She is represented by Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou in Paris.
Works produced by La Semitan as part of Le Voyage à Nantes.