Critics’ Picks

Younès Rahmoun, Manzil Lawn, 2015, seventy-seven resin sculptures, each 4".

Younès Rahmoun, Manzil Lawn, 2015, seventy-seven resin sculptures, each 4".


Younès Rahmoun

Imane Farès
41, rue Mazarine
September 10–November 21, 2015

Seventy-seven translucent resin sculptures of houses, ten cubic centimeters each, are displayed here at chest level on white metal tabletops arranged diagonally throughout the space. Every piece references a different formal archetype for a building—featuring hard angles, tilted roofs, or rounded surfaces—in a conceptual rendering of architecture’s possibilities. Viewed from the street, these blocks appear to be uniformly made in one color each, ranging from pastel greens and oranges to blues and purples, but on closer inspection they reveal themselves to be composed of multiple horizontal sheets of variously colored resin. Homes and dwellings are the subject of this exhibition of new work by Younès Rahmoun, titled “Manzil,” after the Arabic word for home, produced primarily in his hometown of Tétouan in Morocco, where he also cofounded a residency in 2013. Speaking to the artist’s practice of Sufi philosophy and the Islamic faith, this sculptural installation, Manzil Lawn (all works cited, 2015), is displayed facing east toward Mecca.

Occupying most of the basement space is a plain concrete and clay room built by Rahmoun that visitors can enter. A light shines inside this work, titled Manzil-Ghorfa. Sites for refuge, creation, and meditation are among the leitmotifs of his oeuvre, and previous series have also focused on natural things such as atoms, hearts, flowers, seeds, and their inherent potentials. A hollow spherical clay sculpture, Manzil-Batn, serves as another take on a protective shelter or cocoon. Meanwhile, penciled in Arabic onto one of the works on paper, is a statement that translates to “I dwell in my dwelling, which inhabits me.” Perhaps this project as a whole is a prism through which to consider the current migration crisis and the universal need to find and define a home in both a political and an intimate sense.