Maïmouna Guerresi

Perspective on the relationship between women and society, with particular reference to those countries in which the role of women is most marginalized. For over twenty years Guerresi’s work has been about empowering women and bringing together individuals and cultures in an appreciation for a context of shared humanity, beyond borders – psychological, cultural, and political. She uses recurrent metaphors such as milk, light, the hijab, trees, and contrasting white on black to create awareness of the vital unifying qualities of the feminine archetype and its special healing potential. Guerresi’s art is uniquely authentic. Her work is inspired by personal experience and cultural contexts that reference universal myths, the sacred realm, and the female condition, all of which are seen as vital expressions of the human form: an essentially spiritual and mystic body. Through photographs and videos of silent, austere, veiled women in domestic scenes and individual poses, her work functions as both metaphor and provocation. Guerresi’s images are delicate narratives with fluid sequencing, as well as rational analyses: women dressed in white, enveloped in chadors, fixed within their own tradition and isolated from and by it in the contemporary world. Her Fatimah image suggests the woman as Mother- Earth supporting us in the original energy cycle of Space-Universe- Infinity.

Maïmouna has exhibited in solo and group shows all over Europe, Africa, the United States, Asia, and the Middle East. She was invited to participate in the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1982 and 1986, and at Documenta K18 in 1987 in Kassel, Germany. She has exhibited in numerous museums and international exhibitions, including the National Museum of Bamako, the Biennale Les Rencontres de Bamako in Mali (2009), the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, the Sharjah National Museum in UAE, the Bahrain National Museum, and the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. Guerresi most recently exhibited in A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes at the New Orleans Museum of Art, among famed designers and artists.

Her works are included in prestigious public collections worldwide, and recently in the Smithsonian Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, LACMA, Institute des Cultures d’Islam in Paris, and the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakesh.