Nidhal Chamekh is a visual artist and researcher. He began exhibiting his work at the tender age of twelve in Tunisia; his adolescent years provided much contemplation he would later come to evoke within his artworks for many years. Traversing and contaminating the demarcations of sculpture, installation, collage, drawing, and painting, his practice at large may be likened to wielding an archaeological device, used to navigate the socio-cultural complexity and chaos of historical images.
Nidhal Chamekh was born in 1985 in Dahmani (Tunisia) and graduated at the School of Fine Arts in Tunis and in Paris where he lives and works. Nidhal Chamekh’s visual art has often been described as unsettling. His artistic exploration unfolds around complex and fragmented shapes whose meaning is often blurred, almost absent. His designs evolve in accidents, without a predetermined logic that binds one form to another. What we see is an outburst of shapes, cruelly incomplete that reveal the work’s ‘deficiencies’.
His drawings seek to be an observation as close as possible to reality and serve primarily to bridge the gap between observation and the moment of creation...To construct his work, the technique used by Chamekh is image montage. Montage is a way to see and build social temporality and collect in a given space, the visual dislocation of the world. Nidhal Chamekh seems to have mastered the work of an archaeologist. His work can be defined as a tool to ‘sample’ the chaos of history. Text by Wafa Gabsi
Drawing is the basis of art. It forms a discreet layer, which hides itself behind a painting without ever completely disappearing, or behind a sculpture, a video, an installation without ever falling into oblivion. There is always a preliminary drawing before a work of art. Therefore we can say that a drawing is a beginning without ever being an end. To the beginning of things that’s exactly where Nidhal Chamekh wants to go with his drawings. What happens in someone’s mind to venture in this way in the vicinity of death, can it be a desired destiny? Like a journey with an imaginary arrival. ‘We are beings with an end’ (Martin Heidegger) forsaken at death. However, one’s life and destiny can be summarized as an attempt to forget this appointment with death. Against all reason, the martyr depicted in Nidhal’s drawings plans this encounter, he provokes it. His drawings return to the beginning of things, a dream about life becomes a dream about death, they dissect and describe it without ever understanding it and never try to justify anything. Text by Abdelkader Damani
Nidhal Chamekh studied at Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts (ISBAT) in Tunis, undertook a Masters in Fine Arts and Art Sciences followed by his doctoral research at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. In 2015 he was selected by Okwui Enwezor for the 56th International Art Exhibition or Venice Biennale (All the World’s Futures) and was part of Dak’Art 11th Biennial of Contemporary African Art. This year he participates at the Architecture Biennial at the Frac Centre in Orléans as well as the Dream City Biennial in Tunis. During 2016 he exhibited at the Aichi Triennial in Japan and Yinchuan Biennale in China.