Like many of her projects, 108 Days relates to the artist’s immediate surroundings and engages with the social, political and experiential, while being invariably rooted in personal histories and experiences, whether individual or collective. The installations, videos, sculptures and sound works of Lydia Ourahmane address contemporary issues such as migration, colonialism and geopolitics. Inhabiting, gathering, sharing, being permeable…, these are all qualities that infuse the site-specific project 108 Days by Lydia Ourahmane (Saïda, Algeria, 1992) in the Museum tower. The title refers both to the days the exhibition is open to the public and to the number of participants who have been invited by the artist to engage with the space during this period.
108 Days carries an extended city context into the Museum by foregrounding individuals or collectives who form part of its social landscape. These guests have been specifically chosen by Ourahmane, who has lived in Barcelona since 2021. The space is not occupied by any finished artwork, or objects, but by what each participant deems urgent and incisive, with the aim of promoting critical dialogue and exchange with the space, the institutional framework and whoever enters and spends time in it. With this work, the artist presents a significant alteration to the way the Museum normally operates, firstly by leaving this gallery space empty, aside from those elements necessary for the performance of any foreseeable task, and secondly by interpreting the Museum’s commission to produce an artwork by inviting 108 participants. The trust between the artist, the institution, the guests and the audience is what lends significance to the work.
Ourahmane’s praxis poses the following questions: How can the institutional structures and parameters that define contemporary societies be defied? How can vigilance and the impositions of bureaucracy be overturned? How can artworks involve active and effective protests? Through these inquiries Ourahmane brings the personal into the political field and the domestic into the field of history.