Extraction, 2016

Hong Kong 2016
Selma Feriani Gallery
Mixed Media
100.0 x 100.0 x 40.0 Size (cm)
39.4 x 39.4 x 15.7 Size (in)
The installation reflects the very intention of Chamekh’s continuous research about ‘extraction’… to extract meaning from history itself then intervene in view to broadening the understanding of the present. Moreover, the title itself refers to the very topic of the series namely the mining industry and to a moderate extent the etymological sense of ‘extraction’: to tear off. The installation is composed of drawings, engravings, a map and of an array of other natural and man-made objects featuring portraits, materials, landscapes and machinery within the constitution of their historical, cultural and stylistic affiliations. Every set of images reflects certain iconography and each object an era thus bridging key moments in industrialization with Christian medieval icons and/or colonial and modern conflicts and conquests. The materials used in the installation intend to break the linearity of the composition. Portraits of miners are depicted on gold leaves and irregular or gangrene-looking mineral stones are placed upon modern portraits featuring scientists and pioneers of the period - during the 19th century a particular style of pencil and pastel portraiture became fashionable as a direct result of the rising of young industrial bourgeoisie, entrepreneurs, scientists, etc.. Mining affected landscapes are engraved onto zinc plates. A rusty mining lamp, a vinyl cover album and a map of Africa are also to be found on display. Through meticulous and deliberate arranged gestures the artist intertwines narratives with meanings either bridging or making allusions about the third world, major scientific discoveries, belief systems, colonization, mining, the present of the damned and the history of modern economy.