Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Mohamed El baz



Mohamed El baz

Flag Spécial, 2014.






Born in El Ksiba, Morocco in 1967 , Mohamed El baz graduated from the l’Ecole Régionale d’Art (Regional School of Fine Art) Dunkirk in 1989. In 1992, he obtained a DNSEP (Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique, .diploma in visual arts) from the ENSA ( École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris Cergy) in Cergy. He also took classes at IHEAP in Paris (Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques (1988-1994), founded in 1985 by Pontus Hulten with Daniel Buren and Sarkis. Mohamed El baz lives and works in Casablanca , Morocco and Lille, France .

ElBazBricoler L'incurable 2017

Bricoler l’incurable, 2017.

Since 1993, Mohamed El baz has been creating a work entitled “Bricoler l’incurable”( Mending the incurable). His leitmotiv provides him with an ongoing, never ending and always controversial installations; as components or “details” find a place and adapt to each new concept .

His work has three orientations through which Mohamed El baz crosses boundaries and categories : daily , autobiographical and playful ; the work itself becomes mobile and turns into a different story. Mohamed El baz questions the notions of borders and territories and all that works to erect barriers between people .


ElBazBricoler l'incurable2017

Bricoler l’incurable, 2017.
The formula Bricoler l’incurable was established (and presented) for the first time in 1993 in a text writ large on the wall by Mohamed El baz in the show Le Milieu du monde (The Centre of the World) at the CRAC (Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain) in Sète.
It seemed “right” to him, in line with his artistic project and what prompts and probes it: “If I am engaged [in art], what is the reason? What are the aims? It is useful only if it mends something in my intimate relationship with the world. Otherwise, why choose to be an artist?”
Having just left school, the artist thus placed the very question of the work of art at the heart of the same and, through its mediation, took to heart and tackled the questions that already haunted him: belonging, difference, social status, the explosion of the concept of the diaspora, the relationship with the other and with the world, the function of art, the role of the artist, and so on.


Door of Heaven, 2016.
This mediation potentially contains a fully open approach to all these questions. Finally, he no longer felt cramped in the field of art. Strengthened by a recent reading of Cioran, his plan “to create artwork” thus helped largely to justify the intercession of the precept Bricoler l’incurable. From the writings of the contemporary philosophical and literary icon of the “pessimistic worldview”, he brought the concept of “mending the incurable” back to the surface.( Cioran, Syllogismes de l’amertume, Gallimard, Folio Essais, Paris, 1987, p. 27. ) The formula struck El baz immediately, and he decided to appropriate it in his own way.
For his first slim volume (now lost, Entitled Bricoler l’incurable, 1991.) he had already gathered together various photographs of the members of his family. Philippe Robert, ( Artist and teacher at the time in the École des Beaux-Arts in Dunkirk.) with whom he embarked on this project, asked him to think of a name for the book. He dived back into his notes and Bricoler l’incurable became the title. Planning further editions, he then founded a small publishing house and named it Trabendo (Smuggling). Gestation was already under way. One work followed another. Works for the diploma. The first installations. They soon all linked up and began to resound with this phrase. It was not yet a general title, being established as such only after some further artistic experiments with the installation created for his first major participation in a group show (Le Milieu du monde).
El baz added Détails to Bricoler l’incurable in the sense of parts of a whole and thus ensured the possibility of also indicating, if necessary, the characteristic specificity of the installation in question, as exemplified by later works like: Bricoler l’incurable. Détails, Atterrissage forcé (Forced Landing); Bricoler l’incurable. Détails, Hard day’s night; Bricoler l’incurable. Détails, Love Supreme; and Bricoler l’incurable. Détails (Valeurs véhiculaires); In all the wrong places.
Displaying it as such (in large letters cut out and stuck on the wall) before definitive use as the title of all his works marked a crucial decision, namely to present an element which, though fragmentary, contains its totality and is “contained by” it at the same time. This wording makes it possible to display connections with a frame of mind within the field of Cioran’s ideas but is also related (and not by chance) with the opening credits of a film
Nadine Descendre
( From the monographic book Mohamed El baz published by Skira )
(texts from website artist)