Topographie de la Terreur

Dalila Dalléas Bouzar

Dalila Dalléas Bouzar dedicates her exhibition „topographie de la terreur“ to the urban areas of her biographic stations Berlin, Paris and Algiers.

She focusses on the apartment as a closed living space, which she – among other aspects - associates with terror, prison or maze. For the artist, the apartment is a personal, intimate place, in which she feels both safe and vulnerable. The buildings, where Dalila Dalléas Bouzar lives and works, are a characterizing part of her biography as an artist.

Whenever a place gains importance in her life, Dalléas Bouzar starts dealing with it - she tries to feel, to appropriate it. As an artist it is crucial to her to express and reflect how she perceives these places. Therefore, apartments have turned into obsession with Dalila Dalléas Bouzar. Like in a recurrent dream, she looks into interior spaces to understand their meaning, to define what she is trying to find and whether she really wants to explore what she might find.

In the exhibition "topographie de la terreur", Dalléas Bouzar presents fictional ground plans of apartments as well as models and drawings of urban places that she associates with violence and suppression. To the artist, the apartment that she represents for her own topography of terror, is closely linked to her current living space Berlin, whose entire urban space reflects German history for her.  In the eyes of the artist, Berlin is not beautiful like Paris in a classical sense, but – by mirroring history in the cityscape – far more expressive, even than her birthplace Algiers. In Berlin the artist sees the scars of terror everywhere. She is not able to and does not want to ignore this. Therefore, the title of the exhibition refers to both her personal terror and terror in German history.

Dalila Dalléas Bouzar’s examination of the apartment gains another dimension with the series „The women of Algiers in their chamber (according to Delacroix)”. Here she reflects the intimate view of Delacroix, which he, as a western male visitor, once rendered on this enclosed world. Dalila Dalléas Bouzar has adopted this alien view and now opens up her version of the famous painting to us, this time as a view from inside. The situation of Algerian women resembles that of a prison. But within its boundaries the intimate chamber at least offers them the possibility of escape. On the one hand, Dalila Dalléas Bouzar thus examines her Algerian roots. But this series is, on the other hand, a dispute with her second home country, France. By interpreting the works of the famous French historical painter Delacroix anew, she, as an Algerian women, dares correcting him and thereby demands her own position in art history.