Mohamed Bourouissa | PHOTO 2022, Melbourne, Australia

April 29 – May 22, 2022

More information on the exhibition

Mohamed Bourouissa

Participating in
PHOTO 2022, Melbourne, Australia
Being Human

Artistic Director: Elias Redstone

On the occasion of PHOTO 2022, Deutsche Börse prize winning artist Mohamed Bourouissa will present two series at the Peter O'Callaghan QC Gallery. Bourouissa's Périphérique and Shoplifters series each explore society’s overlooked fringes, here set within the Victorian Bar’s collection of portraits of legal dignitaries. 

In Périphérique, Bourouissa’s breakthrough series of photographs, the artist appropriates codes of art historical painting, staging scenes with friends and acquaintances in the banlieues, the working-class suburbs encircling Paris (and the site of riots in 2005). Confrontations, gatherings, looks, and frozen gestures all suggest a dramatic tension. Invoking French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix and contemporary artists such as Jeff Wall, Bourouissa makes space in French history for marginalized communities. 

Shoplifters is a series of photographs of photographs. In a supermarket in Brooklyn, Bourouissa was drawn to a Polaroid display behind the counter: pictures depicting shoplifters, each photographed holding the item they had been stealing—everyday items like fruit, eggs, cleaning products. By rephotographing and recontextualizing these images, Bourouissa reveals them as documents of people caught in poverty. 

About PHOTO 2022

Australia’s largest photography biennale will return to the streets and galleries of Melbourne and regional Victoria, with PHOTO 2022. Now in its second edition, PHOTO 2022 provides an opportunity for audiences from across Australia and around the world to be part of a global celebration of new photography, art and ideas—featuring large-scale outdoor installations at iconic and unexpected sites across Melbourne, expertly curated exhibitions at 38 galleries including ACMI and NGV Australia, and thought-provoking events and education programs. By focusing on the issues most important to our times, PHOTO 2022 connects the arts with different elements of our lives across science, psychology, sociology, technology, current affairs and many others.

Through PHOTO 2022’s theme, Being Human, artists and photographers will unpack the human condition to explore what informs who we are: what unites us and what makes us unique within the narratives of Society, Self, Mortality, Nature and History. 

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