The Chouas, family picture, year unknown.

Saddie Choua
The Chouas - We are the movie!

Laveronica Arte Contemporanea, Modica / Italy

December 30, 2019–March 28, 2020
December 17, 2019
Laveronica arte contemporanea
via Grimaldi 93
97015 Modica Ragusa

T +39 0932 188 1704
[email protected]

Laveronica arte contemporanea is proud to present The Chouas – We are the movie!, the first solo show in Italy by the belgian moroccan artist Saddie Choua.

Five men pushed in a corner of a room. A photo. Found in a newspaper. Or in a family album lost in the attic. A picture that produces questions. Where has it been made? During a party? A holiday? What is the relation between these men? And who took the picture? A photographer? Or one of the men’s wife?

“Being the daughter of the man in the middle, I know: they are five brothers. These are the Chouas. This picture is made in Morocco. Three of the five brothers emigrated to Belgium. One turned back. Two stayed in Morocco. There are a lot of questions the picture does not answer.”

The Chouas is balancing between fact and fiction, between personal and political considerations. On show the epic story of a family through a series of video installations of various format realized in the last few years.

Combining autobiographic stories with history, literature and popular culture the distinction between fiction and non-fiction fades away. The episodes form the soap series The Chouas, but this is a meta-soap that invites the viewer to discover the structures of stereotypical image- formation, dominant codes and partial histories.

The challenge is not only to present the particular story of a family dealing with migration, but to create a situation in which the spectator discovers the tricky mechanisms of film and entertainment (soaps, documentaries,... etc) in order to experience the true nature of human existence.

Therefore, The Chouas - A Work IN Progress—is not a reality show or a soap about family matters with juicy stories on conflict of cultures and religions, superstition... It’s rather an environment in which I, daughter of one of the Chouas, try to find, try to restore, the language of the migrant him/herself. In the tradition of Frantz Fanon, whose known as a radical existential humanist thinker on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization, I am aware of the fact that migrants don’t have any control anymore over their images. The images of migrants as shown in the media are not their images. Those images create a fake perception of the other, which creates at last estrangement and alienation. My approach is to create a situation, an environment where images, sounds and spaces break with the language of contemporary media, break with the excited hunger for exoticism or worse, the pseudo reality shows where an assumed dayliness is evoked. As Guy Debord promoted any method of making one or more individuals critically analyze their everyday life, and to recognize and pursue their true desires in their lives, I would like to base this continuous and never-ending work on this basic assumptions, and go beyond the atrocities of the "Society of Spectacle." 

Saddie Choua (Bree, 1972) lives and works in Brussels. Saddie Choua was recently nominated for the Belgian Art Prize 2020. Her work is in the following public collections: Mu.ZEE Ostend, Kanal-Centre Pompidou, Brussels/Paris, Kadist Gallery, Paris/San Francisco, Cosmos, Brussels.