Youssef Lahrichi - Morocco

Musée National du Mali

Rêveries urbaines (2014)

In Rêveries urbaines (2014), Youssef Lahrichi presents a series of theatrically staged images of him- self that use the city of Casablanca as a set. The fiction taking place in these images is a mise en abyme evoking the artist’s actual situation in the city. Youssef Lahrichi is a tourist, an outsider to the customs of Casablanca, but at the same time in certain photographs he is also the one who ex- plains and reveals the context and the meaning of the image to the observer. Beyond this, the work evokes the artist’s perspective of society, exposing a temporality that it is impossible to entirely witness or take part in, the moment of ftour in the city, the end of the daily fast during Ramadan. It is a question of a sublime moment of intimacy where those who have fasted are invited to join their families for the first meal. By this subtle movement from an intimate sphere, that of the family, to the public sphere, that of the exposed city, the artist, literally, shows Casablanca in a new light.

Likewise, there is a tension between the architecture of Casablanca and the character who at times seems absorbed by his surroundings. The lights of the business signs and the apparent emptiness of the streets create a veritable stage that renders fiction possible. The city becomes both an imaginary world where anything can happen and a punitive space in which individuality is magnified, making this series a metaphor that is both dream-like and profoundly compelling.

Born in 1985 in Fez, Morocco –
Lives in Casablanca

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