UM (ONE) is born from a poetic encounter of affections and lost origins: Alina Duchrow, a Brazilian artist living in Morocco since 2020, and Ziad Naitaddi, a Moroccan artist, have created a multimedia installation through which memories of distant beginnings and displacements that altered lands, lives, names and meanings in time are connected.
Duchrow’s research finds a point of contact with Naitaddi’s work by touching on the question of migration and its echoes. The project emerges from the superposition of two stories, two maps with a shared name: Salé. The number “one” contains both all-things and the origin. The sound “um”, which means “one” in Portuguese, in Arabic is the same as “mother”. A letter revealed to the artists the story of a Jewish Moroccan man who migrated to the Amazon in search of rubber plantations.
The work includes a set of five images and a video-installation made by the two artists in which the contribution of each one is materialized by the presence of images from their native memories. The images were created through a process of artistic dialogue between Duchrow and Naitaddi.
Through the transfer of media – from photography to drawing and from drawing to photography – the Medina of Salé and life in the Amazon forest were superimposed, creating hybrid realities. This action produced a kind of shuffling of the boundaries of symbolic and geographical territories. As a consequence, the juxtaposed artworks suggest a phantasmagorical existence intermeshing the physical and metaphysical.
Immigrant memories bring forth two displaced landscapes, each gaining new meaning through their connection. In a poetic exercise of the past through storytelling, the artists rediscover a cartography in which distinct worlds and memories can coexist and communicate, based on a new lexicon1, a safe haven on shared earth.
1 We recall the Macuxi indigenous artist Jaider Esbell, who died on 02/11/2021, in the text “Léxico para permundos – Como a entidade artista indígena pode “pescar” em duas águas e servir a duplas comunidades?” The artist discusses the complexity of artistic practice as an indigenous person in the 21st century and claims the possibility of a transit between worlds in a refusal to destroy any existence and form of life. He invokes the creation of a vocabulary of his own for the coexistence between worlds without hierarchies, with respect for all life and for the opacities inherent to the culture of each people. Published on 16/07/2020. Available at http://www.jaideresbell.com.br/site/2020/07/16/lexico-para-permundos-como-a-entidade-artista-indigena-pode-pescar-em-duas-aguas-e-servir-a-duplas-comunidades/
Guided tour with Alina d’Alva Duchrow and Ziad Naitaddi
7 October at 6pm
Guided tour and artist talk with Alina d’Alva Duchrow
4 November at 6pm
The project is supported by the Embassy of Brazil in Rabat.