Numbers(The Figures) challenges a world awash with superficial surfaces, selfies and screenshots. Carefully curated by Olivier Rachet, the exhibition brings together the figurative work of eight Moroccan artists in a crescendo of expressive gestures, both anguished and ecstatic.

Consider Amina Rezki’s large untitled 2020 work, a Baconian rendition of a chimpanzee on randomly joined vertical strips of paper that seem to peel away from the wall. Surrounded by a small red fence, the desperate creature’s body is misaligned in two stripes. In the upper left corner hovers the disembodied face of a second chimpanzee, its mouth open in a silent howl, a desperate lookalike.

The anguish of exile and the fragmentation of the self provide a powerful current through “Numberswhich is punctuated with bursts of sensual color. A particularly touching work is the untitled diptych 2023, by Yasmine Hadni. The pleasant pastel palette depicts several children in the company of adults, the scene being both tender and disturbing. Two girls hug the back of a young woman – maybe a mother, a nanny or a nurse? One girl is stained with tears, seemingly exhausted, while the other child’s eyes appear as mere stings of terror as they meet the viewer’s gaze.

Landmarking strategies oscillate between intimacy and violence in “Numbers.” Primarily self-portraits, the selected works merge around themes of dislocation and the dissolution of identity. The result is a poignant ode to the vitality, if not the cohesion, of the self.

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