Mourad Kourbaj (he/him)
As an artist I enjoy interacting with the environment that surrounds me in various ways, observing movements, textures and compositions that would otherwise be overlooked. I would define my practice as expanding the field of illustration to become a broader way of looking at the world, using the mediums of moving image, photography and sound, amongst other things, to communicate my thoughts. My interest in the encounters I have with the textures and movements of the city have come to define my recent work, however I aim to maintain a curiosity that allows me to explore a wide range of subjects.
Cut-out Street Figures
Una muerte y un nacimiento // A death and a birth
A short film that tells the story of my family on my mum’s side being forced to leave Argentina in the 70’s during the Videla dictatorship that gripped the country for over 6 years. Using conversations with each family member, I let them narrate their own story, accompanying their words with family photographs from the period and other related imagery to illustrate their struggle during this time. This story is one of many from this period, with thousands of people making the same journey across the world to escape the horrors of ‘la junta militar’ and the military dictatorship in Argentina.
The Walk – Stage Directions
Found Street Paintings
Based on the ideas of the Flâneur, an urban wanderer first described by Charles Baudelaire in the mid-1800’s who would roam the streets observing the changing urban environment surrounding him, I roam the streets of Paris in mid February 2022 observing the environment that I encounter. The use of black and white film to capture the world I see was inspired by an exhibition I had seen a few days earlier at the Institut du Monde Arabe about the photographer Raymond Depardon, showcasing black and white photographs of his taken in Algeria between 1961 and 2019.
Using sounds recorded in various locations on my phone’s Voice Memo app, I decontextualised found images with the found sounds, creating new meaning through the compositions of audio and imagery. The compositions of these Sound Collages was entirely accidental, putting cutouts on a scanner randomly and seeing where the outcome takes me.
How We Got To Where We Are Now
After asking the three questions (Where are we going? How are we getting there? What are we leaving behind?) I asked some people to draw How We Got To Where We Are Now on a ripped piece of packaging, of which we tend to discard without much thought. This open-ended question provoked some interesting responses, with some people illustrating how humankind got to the present moment beginning with the Big Bang, and others simply drew the route we took up the stairs and through the corridor to the room where I asked them the questions. Each and every response is a representation of how others view the world, and the diversity of our thoughts.