Meriem Bennani, Croco Eyes, 2022Nottingham Contemporary
Digital print with silkscreen onto silver Mylar
Size: 35 x 46.5 cm
Edition of 35
Accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate
This special limited-edition work was created to mark the exhibition Meriem Bennani, Life on the CAPS, 2022. Croco Eyes, 2022, takes as it’s starting point, a still from the artists celebrated trilogy of films set in a speculative sci-fi world - a fictional island in the middle of the Atlantic called the CAPS.
The edition is printed onto reflective silver mylar, in a combination of digital and silkscreen printing. The effect is a subtle shift of surfaces, with silvery glinting eyes, signalling back to the artists considered, future inspired installations.
Croco Eyes, 2022, features a disorientated close-up of Fiona the crocodile, who acts as the islands’ mascot and narrator throughout the first chapter of the trilogy. Introducing the viewer to this intricate future world, Fiona tells how the CAPS began as an internment camp for refugees and immigrants, who were intercepted by a brigade of trooper drones when attempting to ‘illegally’ teleport across international borders. Over three generations and despite being under US rule, the island has transformed into a bustling, geographically isolated megalopolis. The CAPS exists in a world where borders are defined and enforced by gigantic magnetic fields, teleportation is a standard mode of transport and biotechnology advancements allow people to undergo radical age reversals and purchase new bodies. Through Bennani’s layering of documentary style footage with playful animation, the CAPS series depicts experiences of displacement and longing, but also of joy and resilience.
Crocodiles, aka croco's, are central figures in this story - voiced by and representing Meriem herself. With the most sophisticated cardiovascular system in the animal kingdom, crocodiles can send their blood to where it’s most needed in the body. For this reason, croco's are a cipher for the resilience of the people and cultures that are the life-force of the CAPS.
Moroccan-born, New York-based artist Meriem Bennani (b. 1988) has a shape-shifting practice of films, sculptures, and immersive installations.
As a storyteller, her work presents an amplified version of reality, punctuated by special effects, digital animation, and music. She draws on reality TV, documentary, advertising, social media, and phone footage, exploring the saturation of digital technologies and the fracturing of identities within contemporary society.
Bennani’s work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, The Guggenheim Museum, Art Dubai, The Fondation Louis Vuitton, Public Art Fund, The Kitchen, and CLEARING, among other venues. Life on the CAPS (2022) was a co-commission with The Renaissance Society, Chicago where it was presented Spring 2022
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