Submission
Achraf Touloub

Vies parallèles

blank projects is pleased to announce Vies parallèles, a solo exhibition by Achraf Touloub, on view from 26 May until 2 July 2022.


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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (1)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (2)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (3)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (4)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (5)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (6)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (7)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (8)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (9)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (10)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (11)
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Achraf Touloub, 'Vies paralleles', 2022 | Installation view at blank projects, Cape Town (12)
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Achraf Touloub, Al Zuhur, 2021-2022 | Oil on canvas, 220 x 155 x 3,5 cm (installation view)
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Achraf Touloub, Encounters, 2022 | Oil on canvas, 250 x 170 x 3,5cm (scale view)
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Achraf Touloub, Hellé (by a ciphered fall), 2021 | Oil on canvas, 89 x 130 x 2,5cm
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Achraf Touloub, Oob (out of body), 2021 | Oil on canvas, 250 x 170 x 3,5 cm (scale view)
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Achraf Touloub, untitled (Epinay), 2022 | Oil on canvas, 200 x 120 x 3,5cm (installation view)
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Achraf Touloub, untitled, 2021 | Oil on canvas, 89 x 130 x 2,5cm (installation view)
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Achraf Touloub, Vies parallèles, 2021 | Oil on canvas, 180 x 110 x 3,5cm (scale view)
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Achraf Touloub, I-O, 2022 | 3D print polyatic acid, charcoal and incense, 42cm ⌀ ; installation dimensions variable

“Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.”1

blank projects is pleased to announce Vies parallèles, a solo exhibition by Achraf Touloub, on view from 26 May until 2 July 2022.

In this, his second exhibition with the gallery, Touloub considers the tensions among the spaces in which individuals and society move and interact. These dimensions are constantly multiplying and fragmenting; an effect of the omnipresence of interfaces and communication networks that have come to determine relationships (relationships between people, ideas, forms, etc.). For Touloub, these relationships are sets of links whose pathways are prescribed, or even preordained, by the data that represents us.

Mixing memories, myths and fiction, Vies parallèles (parallel lives) is an invitation to redefine these links. In this present condition of hyperconnectivity, with our every action and behaviour able to be predicted, generating a new type of link or relational path necessarily involves a strategy of detours. The works on exhibition function in this way.

There is a tension in Achraf Touloub’s works that structures chaos. The connection between different, seemingly antinomic forms and ideas generates a whole that is discordant at first sight, but gradually an internal logic emerges. The compositions of Touloub’s paintings deny a traditional approach to representation and narrative – painted with equal intensity across the surface of the canvas, the accumulation of marks and details eliminates any question of the centre: only peripheries remain. This singular arrangement, in which the notions of complementarity and opposition are amalgamated, places the question of perception at the heart of the artist’s work.

A recurring subject in Touloub’s paintings and watercolours is a vision in which two figures, observed from behind, pass a third figure walking in the opposite direction. This nocturnal encounter takes on the appearance of an electric hallucination, amplified not only by the treatment of the bodies whose attire blends with the lines of the landscape but also by the juxtaposition of colours that together produce a vibratory texture. This encounter also acts as an allegory of perception, pointing to the challenging process when we, the artwork’s witnesses, take an unknown path guided by intuition.

This path, if followed, grants access to a territory that cannot be fully represented by data. Beyond that, we find a space of freedom, without rules; an anonymous place.

1 William Gibson, The neuromancer, 1984

Born 1986 in Casablanca, Morocco, Achraf Touloub lives and works in Paris where he graduated from the École de Beaux-Arts in 2013.

Recent solo exhibitions include Les Arrivées, CAC Passerelle, Brest (2021), Upaguru, blank projects, Cape Town (2021), Achraf Touloub at the Villa Medici, Rome (2020), Discord Venue, Baronian Xippas, Brussels (2020), and European Night, Galeria Plan B, Berlin (2019).

Touloub has participated in several group exhibitions, including Biennale Art Encounters, Landscape in a Convex Mirror, Timisoara (2021), Anticorps, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2020), LA COLÈRE DE LUDD, BPS22, Charleroi (2020), Baltic Triennial 13: Give Up the Ghost, Tallinn (2018); The World on Paper, Deutsche Bank Collection, Berlin (2018); Night was paper and we were ink, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah (2018); Lolo’s Entanglements, De Warande Cultural Centre, Turnhout (2018); Auguries, Art space Geumcheon, Seoul (2017); Viva Arte Viva, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); 100 chefs-d’oeuvre de l’art moderne et contemporain arabe. La collection Barjeel, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (2017); Greffes, Villa Medici, Rome (2017); Mutations-Créations / Imprimer le monde, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017); Dissolve into a red dwarf, Island, Brussels (2017); Cher(e)s Ami(e)s: New presentation of works from the collection, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Forming in the pupil of an eye, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi (2016); Club of Matinee Idolz, CO2, Turin (2015); and Des hommes, des mondes, College des Bernardins, Paris (2014).

Touloub’s work is represented in several public and private collections, including the Cnap (Centre national des arts plastiques) Collection, France; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt am Main; The Sander Collection, Darmstadt.