Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss
Oct 13 2023 – Jan 07 2024
Abdelkader Benchamma, Cosma, 2023. Exhibition view: Templon, Paris, 2023. Photo: Tanguy Beurdeley. Courtesy the artist and Templon, Paris – Brussels – New York.
- ART PARTNERS
- GOVERNMENT PARTNERS
Noor Alé, Associate Curator
Envisioned as a geological epic of our universe, Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss is a solo exhibition by French artist Abdelkader Benchamma that conjures enigmatic worlds and elemental forces at the precipice of transformation, evoking a yearning for worlds yet to be. Like an archaeologist, Benchamma unearths symbols–found in ancient mythologies and legends–that humanity has from its earliest moments inscribed onto the land, sky, and celestial bodies. In doing so, he creates an elusive topography of dreams that centres our spiritual ties with nature, reclaiming our interconnectedness with the world.
Gestural and lyrical, his primarily monochrome murals, drawings, and installations, depict undulating terrains, tectonic movements, and gravitational forces that harness the dynamism of the universe. Indebted to the language of physics, his linework is an embodiment of the arrow of time, marking a fateful trajectory of perpetual motion. Immersed in the themes of natural philosophy, geology, astronomy, alchemy, art history, and existential literature, his works reflect an encyclopedic repertoire of interests. At times an architect of unruly universes, and an archaeologist of dormant memories, his elusive works unravel the relationships between humanity and the cosmos, both equally endowed with the generative powers of creation, change, and destruction.
Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss will be Benchamma’s first major solo exhibition in Canada, and the most comprehensive to date in North America, featuring existing and newly created works, as well as an immersive, site-specific mural for The Power Plant’s Fleck Clerestory Commissioning Program.