Fed with a double education, artistic and scientific, Hicham Berrada’s work (b. 1986, Casablanca, Morocco) juxtaposes intuition and knowledge, science and poetry. He involves in his works laboratory practices that imitate certain natural processes and climate conditions. He is interested in looking at science not as a theme in his art, but as form of culture in itself.
The artist creates ephemeral chemical landscapes similarly to a painter that masters colours and brushes. From the lab to the atelier, from the experience to the performance, he conceives a personal universe which lives according to its rules.
The performances in the series Présage are in fact carefully composed chemical reactions, taking place within glass jars of acid mixed with water. Roughly translating into English as ‘premonition’ – but with connotations of an endless loop of past and present, of images and matter – they are a powerful engagement with themes of creation and decay. Extensive research drew Berrada to use over 40 different chemicals in Présage, each reacting in a unique way to the acidic environment.
He develops utopias that never stop changing and growing.
In the performance Rapport de lois universelles (Relation of the universal laws) he activated two magnetic poles with varying intensities and showed their interaction on a big screen by means of iron nanoparticles. His interventions can also affect nature directly, as it happened in Bloom, action documented in a video, where dandelions are forced to open at night in few minutes thanks to artificial lights, or in Un serpent dans le ciel (A snake in the sky), a dark line created by a balloon, helium, a smoke artisanal bomb and a series of precise rules.
Hicham Berrada lives and works in Paris, France, where he is represented by Galerie Kamel Mennour. He attended scientific courses in Casablanca in 2003 and the École des Beaux-arts in Paris from 2006. His recent exhibitions include solo show at Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (2015) and a residency at CENTQUATRE, Paris (2016), as numerous group exhibitions in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, India and Singapore.
For the month of June, CtC will present a selection of four works by Hicham Berrada to use as weekly cover images of our social media.