Karim Kal

Born in 1977

Lives and works in Samoëns (Haute-Savoie)

“From 2001 onwards, I undertook photographic work consisting of portraits, views of forms of architecture and cityscapes, dealing with situations, environments, and groups of people. Linked with the notion of social condition, this project led me to traverse the physical sidelines of my society (hostiles, shantytowns, housing projects…) and its historical margins incarnated by our colonial past. This work gave rise to exhibitions and the publication of the monographic catalogue Perspective du Naufrage, published by ADERA in 2010.
Since 2012, when I settled in Lyon, I have embarked upon the new cycle L’arrière pays which confronts the institutional signposting of these issues involving condition. Initiated by a residency in the Cité de Pyramides at Evry, that project was followed by works about social housing in the Rhône, at the prison in Villefranche-sur-Saône, at the hospital centre in Chambéry, and in Algeria. Based on an arrangement of flash photos and a specific formal research, I am taking black and white photographs which deal with quality of life, normalization, relation to authority, and individual words within any collective. Significant landmarks on my path are Foucault’s Surveiller et Punir, the writings and work of Allan Sekula, works on geometric abstraction, and so on.”

Karim Kal, 2014
Translated by Simon Pleasance, 2015

Biographical notes translated with the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques - Cnap.