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Mohamed Bourouissa at The Barnes Foundation

Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders features approximately 85 works—including drawings, photos, costumes, sculptures, and a video—many presented for the first time in the US. Since 2002, Bourouissa (b. 1978, Algeria; lives and works in Paris) has been developing a photography practice, drawing, and creating video rooted in social reality. Working primarily with representations of a contemporary urban environment, he is interested in the stereotypes associated with geographic and social spaces. Inspired by painting and contemporary photography, his works interweave fictional and documentary threads.

In 2014, for his first project in the US, Bourouissa focused his attention on a North Philadelphia community’s efforts at neighborhood revitalization. His response included designing, staging, filming, and photographing an equestrian event, which he called "Horse Day," at a local stable: his photographs and film show extravagantly costumed young riders and their decorated mounts as fantastic figures, transcending their economic circumstances. This exhibition showcases the body of work—already acclaimed in Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam—that Bourouissa inspired and created during his stay in Philadelphia.

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Major support for Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders is provided by Étant Donnés Contemporary Art, a program of the FACE Foundation, developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with lead funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and Institut français, Paris.

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