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Saddie Choua

Am I the only one who is like me? This is a question characteristic of Saddie Choua’s life and work. It problematizes the position of the solitary I that is also never disconnected from the other. The power order that conditions the solitary “I”, is another central subject. Where does this otherness sit in the hierarchy of power? Where is her oppression and exploitation concealed or exoticed? Saddie Choua asks us to think about how we consume images and dialogues about the other and how they affect our self-image and historical consciousness. How can we intervene in the images that write our history and conceal social struggle? Saddie Choua’s work can be read as a fragmented self-reflective visual essay that questions the relationship between maker and image. How do you make blind spots that just invite you to forget visible? How to speak and depict differently from a subalternal position, or is it just the concept of “the other” that confines me in dominant images and narratives?

She uses meta-documentary tactics, collage, re-appropriation of popular intercultural formats and autobiographical elements to put racism, discrimination against women and class and her cats in the spotlight. She creates a new pseudo-realistic imaginary world that is at once highly recognizable and utterly alien. It is her way of undermining the (visual) language of our media and sharpening the critical and political gaze of her audience. The challenge is to create ‚situations’ that reveal the power structures behind the images and discourses that we internalize and reproduce.

Saddie Choua studied sociology, lives and works in Brussels, Ostend and Lichnaftia and is a doctoral researcher at RITCS filmschool in Brussels and a lecturer at Sint Lucas school of arts Antwerp and RITCS. She is part of the artist collective ROBIN. She is one of the laureates of the Belgian Art Prize 2020.

Saddie had exhibitions including BOZAR, 2014; WIELS, 2015; Marrakech Biennial, 2016; MU.ZEE, 2016; Festival Concreto, Fortaleza, 2017; Kanal-Centre Pompidou, 2018-2019; Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, 2018; Villa Empain, 2018; Contour Biennal, 2019, Biennale Warszawa, 2019; Temporary Gallery, Cologne, 2020; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2020; Kunstverein Hamburg 2021; Kadist, Paris, 2021; Undercurrent Gallery, NYC, 2021, Möllerei, ZKM, Esch 2022; Kodahouse, Governors Island, NYC and residencies including WIELS; La Cité internationale des arts (Paris); Akademie der Künste der Welt (Cologne); Kooshk (Tehran); Kunsthal Gent; RU, (Brooklyn)