TEMPS MORT | A Chronicle of Dead Time
Algerian, Paris based artist Mohamed Bourouissa’s work projects urban geographical and social spaces in antithetical arenas in order to contend stereotypes that incorrectly define these misrepresented realities.
In 2009, Bourouissa first premiered his project titled TEMPS MORT. The exhibition follows the correspondence between Bourouissa and a prison inmate named ‘Al’. As the two communicated solely through SMS – messages which are also included in the exhibition – Bourouissa suggested various shots and still images for Al to capture and send back to him. The images are basic, topographical, and low resolution, however the quality is remnant of guerilla footage featured in any social documentary or work of field journalism.
In 2010, TEMPS MORT was presented as an exhibition kamel mannour gallery. In collaboration with Études Books N°7 , the exhibition was archived and published in print form: featuring 21 photographs and 300 multimedia text messages, the book elongates the development of Bourouissa and Al’s friendship over the period of their eight month long exchange.
Through Bourouissa’s project, the presentation of ‘imprisonment’ exists in two forms: the physical confinement of Al within prison walls, and the acknowledgement of technology’s limitations in it’s attempt to best capture the quotidian perspective of the individual. Although the spectator interprets the mediated ‘dead time’ within minutes, one may postulate if through the acknowledgement of such lost time perhaps in return Al’s private, insular experiences are granted the gift of life.