A Strange Encounter / Hey you (2)

with Lydia Ourahmane

July 16, 2017

10 – 22 July 2017

A series of performances with Zuzanna Bartoszek, Lydia Ourahmane and Kandis Williams

Kevin Space is pleased to announce A Strange Encounter / Hey you a performance series inviting three artists to work in the exhibition space and the surrounding area of Vienna’s Volkertmarkt throughout the month of July, each concluding with a public event.

A Strange Encounter / Hey you uses the figure of the stranger and the medium of the performed encounter to trace affinities among the artists' practices and examine the relationships between embodiment, space and otherness.

Following Sara Ahmed’s definition, the stranger is understood paradoxically as a form of recognition. Rather than failing to recognise the other, somebody is recognised as not belonging, as a body-out-of-place opposed to a body-of-a-place: “To recognise means: to know again, to acknowledge, and to admit. How do we know the stranger again?”

This series of performances feels along the contours of social spaces and their strangers to find the gaps and porousness of mis/recognition.

Curated by Alex Baczynski-Jenkins and Franziska Sophie Wildförster


Lydia Ourahmane & Lias Kaci Saoudi
common id
16 July 2017, 7–10pm

Performance starts at 8.30 pm

A central figure - reinforced by the primitive ego, depicts a cross-contamination of voices emerging from contemporary landscapes of social conflict. common id is spoken as a commentary against reason and chaos. A stark chorus of sound and voices that fill the space.

Emerging in Oran, Algeria during French occupation, Le Raï was never intended to be poetic but to carry through stories, accounts and conversations of the everyday. A Medahat (translating as “Worship”), is folk music sung by female singers atop two drums and a wooden flute, a style of music traditionally sung in code as a call and response.

Medahat forms the roots of Raï, originating from Bedouin shepherds, mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arabic musical forms. Evolving through a fascination with the occidental modern world, this form set itself within a future which did not reconcile with the present situation of Algeria’s youth. The Medahat recorded by Ourahmane in Sidi El Houari, Oran will become the 'chant' under a theatrical script by Saoudi.

Ourahmane and Saoudi’s electronic chants and narratives, exacerbate languages of the taught and the habitual; with testimonies taken from personal encounters and experiences recounted as statistical and comedic scores; corrupted through a non-set ethnographic history. They live on as myth, sanctified of all meaning and all truth.

“If the purpose of humanity is to curtail evil, then we, in solidarity, must speak from the Abyss.”

British/Algerian Lias Saoudi (b.1986, Southampton, UK) is lead singer Fat White Family (FWF) formed in 2011. He grew up across Scotland and Northern Ireland before studying at London’s Slade School of Fine Art. He is renowned for his deeply personal, manic performances built on his utter commitment to the intensity of total expression, scepticism and hard-left politics.

Lydia Ourahmane (b. 1992 Saïda, Algeria) lives in London and works between the UK and Algeria. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London and her artistic practice spans new media, video, public interventions, lecture-performance, sculptures and found objects. Ourahmane’s work explores complex social and political structures, internal and external forces that govern one’s existence and which shapes collective futures and agencies, often stemming from frustrations, disillusion, the expression of nationality in the context of contemporary, postcolonial Algeria.

Ourahmane has presented works at Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and World Museum, Liverpool; John Jones Project Space, London; Delfina Foundation, London; Ellis King Gallery, Dublin among others. Her work was included in the group exhibition “Territoires Arabes” at Constantine Capital of Arab Culture 2015 and “Natural Instincts” at the Espace Arlaud in Lausanne (curated by Samuel Leuenberger). In 2017 she will participate in the 15th Istanbul Biennial, “A Good Neighbour” (curated by Elmgreen and Dragset) and present a solo exhibition in 2018 at Chisenhale Gallery London.