Mehdi Meddaci — Nous nous sommes levés


Photography, video

Mehdi Meddaci
Nous nous sommes levés

Past: February 2 → April 6, 2014

At the very heart of Mehdi Meddaci’s work are the notions of exile, a no man’s land, the concept of cultural identity, the cyclical nature of life, memory and the imaginary world that hides behind every location.

The Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France is proud to present the very first solo exhibition in a contemporary art centre in the Île-de-France region of this artist who graduated from Le Fresnoy audiovisual school in Tourcoing and the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles.

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Mehdi Meddaci, Paysage, Syrie Lambda sous diasec, caisson lumineux — 80 × 120 cm Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Odile Ouizeman

This exhibition with its title that sounds like the fragment of a narrative: nous nous sommes levés (we got up) comprises an installation with video, film and photography that matches the scale of the exhibition space. It brings together Les yeux tournent autour du soleil (2013), the third and previously unseen part of Mehdi Meddaci’s oeuvre; the film Tenir les murs (2011) and his other photos that are grouped together under the title Cycle, 2005-2013.

The work of this young artist has progressed layer-by-layer and each new layer is a completely autonomous module or component. By using cinematographic techniques in works that are like parts of an incomplete storyline, Mehdi Meddaci enhances the way they are perceived, arouses expectations and plunges the spectator into another dimension that encourages a meditative state of contemplation. He defines a space and invites the public to participate on a corporal level: a white wall, a child moves gracefully to avoid danger, a blue wall, a silent choir wanders, a body falls into the water, boats follow their chosen course…

At the beginning of the process a thought takes shape. It is the start of an imaginary journey, one which is always closely linked to a place that has sentimental connotations for the photographer: a childhood memory, a family anecdote or just a simple everyday gesture, Mehdi Meddaci’s aim is to reconstruct the complete story of an obsessive journey in a no man’s land, situated somewhere between the two sides of the Mediterranean. A strange feeling of absence worms its way into this vacuum, and his films unremittingly bear the traces of whole sections of history that have somehow been obscured.

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Mehdi Meddaci, Tenir les murs, 2011 Vidéogramme Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Odile Ouizeman

Whether with still or moving images, Mehdi Meddaci questions the state of the world, our perception of reality and its representation. Constructing and deconstructing his dramaturgy with cinematographic techniques and bold references to the visual arts, he employs a diversity of timescales: slow-motion sequences, loops, repetitions, static shots and off-screen visual or audio elements, which are his recurrent and trademark processes in the service of a highly-controlled aesthetic sense. Lighting is another essential element: the image becomes a painting, bodies become sculptures.

His images are like windows to another world: they distance themselves from reality and convey a poetic force that is sustained by the feeling that time itself is wavering and uncertain and by the impression of upheaval and the cyclical nature of life they portray.

Mehdi Meddaci was born in Montpellier in 1980. He lives and works in Paris. He graduated from Le Fresnoy — Studio National des Arts Contemporains de Tourcoing and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles. He is represented by Galerie Odile Ouizeman in Paris.

  • Opening Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 3 PM

    A free shuttle from Paris on the day of opening at 14h15. Followed by the opening of the exhibition ’Dans ma cellule, une silhouette’ (In my cell, a silhouette) at the Ferme du Buisson contemporary art centre at 17h — Departure from Place de la Bastille at 14h15. Return to Paris at 20h. Reservation required: 01 70 05 49 80 or

  • Les Sam’di en famille — Visite de l’exposition Mehdi Meddaci Visit Saturday, February 15, 2014 3 PM → 4 PM

    The CPIF has been offering interactive tours of the whole family, sharing an enjoyable experience which is full of surprises. One Saturday per month at 3 o’ clock, the youth the public engagement officer will organise games and activities for the young and old providing an alternative way of exploring the exhibition! Free

  • Rencontre dialoguée avec Mehdi Meddaci et Mathilde Roman, critique d’art Meeting Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 3 PM
  • Les Sam’di en famille — Visite de l’exposition Mehdi Meddaci Visit Saturday, March 15, 2014 3 PM → 4 PM

    Le Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France propose des visites interactives pour toute la famille afin de partager un moment convivial et plein de surprises. Un samedi par mois à 15h, un médiateur jeune public anime des jeux et des activités pour petits et grands afin d’explorer l’exposition autrement ! Gratuit et ouvert à tous à partir de 5 ans sur inscription au 01 70 05 49 82 ou à

  • Sam’di numérique Meeting Saturday, March 29, 2014 10 AM → 5 PM

    Atelier de création avec Tanguy Ferrand pour les 7-15 ans
    Tarif : 18 euros
    Renseignements et inscriptions au 01 70 05 49 82 ou à

  • Jean-Yves Bernhard — Ring, Création acoustique Event Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 6 PM

    The event will be preceded by ‘Circulations’, musical and dance improvisations, in partnership with the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Communal de Pontault-Combault. The exhibition will be closing at 4 o’ clock on the day. Limited places — reservation necessary on 01 70 05 49 80.

77 Seine-et-Marne Zoom in 77 Seine-et-Marne Zoom out

107, av. de la République

77340 Pontault-Combault

T. 01 70 05 49 80 — F. 01 70 05 49 84

Opening hours

Wednesday – Friday, 1 PM – 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday, 2 PM – 6 PM
Other times by appointment

Admission fee

Free entrance

Venue schedule

The artist

  • Mehdi Meddaci