Abdessamad El Montassir’s research-based works produce reflexive processes. In so doing, the artist works primarily with the knowledge of non-human identities, i.e. with the traumas of plants or stones, which function as witnesses to historical, non-documented events. He does this in order to generate new ways of thinking about our social environment. The geographical starting point for his research is his country of origin, Morocco, more specifically, the Sahara in southern Morocco, a territory much-disputed politically.
Abdessamad El Montassir’s most recent film project is Galb’Echaouf, 2021, 18′ 48”. Here, the artist investigates incidents that have profoundly altered the landscape of the Sahara, the desert in the southern part of Morocco. The filmmaker found himself facing a muted environment, haunted by its complex socio-political history. As an alternative, he decided to focus on the organic life that inhabits the desert, in an effort to deconstruct people’s amnesia.
Born in 1989 in Boujdour, Morocco, Abdessamad El Montassir now lives in Marseille, France. After graduating from the Institut National des Beaux-Arts in Tetouan/Morocco, Abdessamad El Montassir completed an MA in artistic and aesthetic education at the École Normale Supérieure in Meknès/Morocco. He has participated in several national and international exhibitions, including Invisible, curated by Alya Sebti and presented at the 13th Biennale of Contemporary African Art in Dakar/Senegal and at the ifa-Galerie Berlin/Germany (2018), De liens et d’exils at La Villa Empain – Fondation Boghossian in Brussels/Belgium (2018), Al Amakine in the context of the 11ème Rencontres de Bamako/Mali (2017), Attokoussy at the Hinterland Galerie in Vienna/Austria, and at Le Cube – independent art room in Rabat/Morocco (2017). Abdessamad El Montassir is presently fellow resident of the Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.