Mohamed Bourouissa

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS

By Biennale of Sydney

22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

About the artist

Mohamed Bourouissa
Born 1978 in Blida, Algeria
Lives and works in Paris, France


BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS

Mohamed Bourouissa’s meditative yellow sound installation, at Cockatoo Island, reflects on his childhood memories of the Acacia tree, commonly referred to in Australia as the ‘wattle’ tree. 

Known for its golden-yellow flowers, this plant is for the artist a romantic link to his childhood in Algeria.    

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

After learning of its proliferation within Australia, Bourouissa was inspired to connect directly to the bushlands in greater Sydney through an artist residency at the Bundanon Trust.

Observing the colonial migrations of plant species globally, Bourouissa identified the early movements of the Acacia from Australia to Algeria through natural-history expeditions. Forming connection between the dispersion and adaptation of plants like the Acacia and the passages of language, Bourouissa has developed a complex algorithmic system that translates the unspoken language of the Acacia tree in order to share its story. 

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

"My work revolves around notions of power and the mechanisms at play in contemporary society. One form of power remains that of control: control of information, control of bodies, control of territory and language."

- Mohamed Bourouissa

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Bourouissa collaborated with MC Kronic (a Waddi Waddi man of the Yuin Nation and local hip-hop/rap artist, activist and poet), Nardean (an Egyptian-Australian MC, poet, singer and songwriter) and French sound designer and programmer Jordan Quiqueret to transform the active energy frequencies of the living Acacia into audible, rhythmic frequencies. 

Together, the Acacia speak of colonial truths in a mesmerising form. The symphonic vibrations generated by these plants invite a quiet contemplation of ideas of localisation and globalisation, as well as relocation and colonialisms.  

Navigate around and explore the wattle inspired installation space of BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS at Cockatoo Island.

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Read the #NIRINatHome Learning Resource for more information and activities about Mohamed Bourouissa's artwork.

Credits: Story

BRUTAL FAMILY ROOTS, 2020 
mixed-media installation with audio, acacia and carpet 
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Oranges & Sardines Foundation, and assistance from the Ambassade de France en Australie, and the Council for Australian-Arab Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
This artwork was created through an artist residency at the Bundanon Trust 
Courtesy the artist; Kamel Mennour, Paris; and Blum and Poe, Los Angeles 
Audio collaboration with Jordan Quinqueret, Nardean and MC Kronic

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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