Lola Khalfa - Algeria

Musée National du Mali

Dégoutage (2015), Ephémère (2012 – 2014)

Choosing photography as her medium, Lola Khalfa studies the margins and the centres of Algerian society as they can be understood through their historical complexity. The artist frequently relies on black-and-white portraits that plunge us into the “Other”, their activities, their streets, their friends, their concerns. Yet it remains impossible to reduce her practice to simply a snapshot of the moment, an anecdote robbed of its temporality and context.

With the Ephémère series, Khalfa provides us with an introspective look into urban landscapes that might seem to have been taken in an unknowable time and space. Nonetheless, by placing the residents of these spaces within the context of their daily activities, the artist provides us with precise information regarding their social realities. The ghost-like treatment of the bodies, whose movements leave behind their own duplicates, poetically accentuates a more sombre reality.

Furthermore, in the Dégoutage series, the narrative acts as an agent, producing an image of the other. Each diptych is composed of extreme close- up portraits of unemployed young men juxtaposed against what we might imagine to be the contexts of their lives. A correlation emerges between the types of faces that are observed in perpetual movement and the repressed spaces that are portrayed : chains and bars, closed doors and windows. Yet at the same time, certain juxtapositions leave room for the youths to object to these authoritarian spaces, making this series a powerful contemporary depiction that transposes the decisive moment of photography.

Born in Annaba, Algeria –
Lives in Annaba and Paris

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali