“The personal is political” is a phrase which pervades the work of the artist Soufiane Ababri. Ababri takes us between the sheets and invites us to read between the lines. Under the covers, we uncover a world where bodies become agents of resistance. As many of the subjects appearing in his drawings are laid bare, so too is the system in which they exist. In his seemingly naïve drawings, he addresses themes such as homosexuality, masculinity, race, violence, hierarchies, and the contentious relationships that exist between them. He draws inspiration from personal experience, film, pornography, political activism, sport, and art history.
It is with great honour that we present the work of Soufiane Ababri in the context of Ljubljana Pride. Pride is first and foremost an act of resistance through presence, challenging societal norms by the simple act of making oneself visible. This too is precisely the impetus of Ababri’s work. He is bringing visibility to what has in the history of representation long been hidden or exoticized. Speaking from a minority position - be it as a homosexual, an immigrant, or a brown-skinned individual - he reclaims the power to tell his own stories on his own terms.
In Ljubljana, Soufiane Ababri will present an entirely new series of drawings commissioned by RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE. Over a period of a month spent in Ljubljana, leading up to Ljubljana Pride, he will observe and report on his experience of the city. It is only during this time that the subject matter of this new series will be revealed, but what is sure to be gained is valuable insight during a moment in which we re-evaluate and celebrate all that makes us proud.
Soufiane Ababri was born in 1985 in Morocco. He finished Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier in 2010 and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014. He's held art exhibitions in several institutions in France and around the world, including the solo exhibitions Memories of a solitary cruise, The Pill Gallery, Istanbul (2019); Here is a Strange and Bitter Crop, SPACE Mare Street Gallery, London (2018); Haunted Lives, Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris (2018); Oh please! Don’t be angry! It’s based on emotional facts, Eternal Network, Tours, France (2017) and What’s the name of the nation, Le Cube indépendant Art Room (2016), Rabat. His work is included in several private and public collections, including the collection of MAC VAL and FRAC Pointou-Charentes. He lives and works between Paris and Tangier.
A coproduction of RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE and Ljubljana Pride Association
Curator: Jure Kirbiš
(Event will be held in English, Slovenian and French language)