Hicham Benohoud was born in Morocco in 1968, and today he divides his time between Casablanca and Paris. Benohoud trained in art, and before he became an artist full-time he taught drawing and painting at schools in the city of his birth, Marrakesh. Benohoud began to photograph, for instance using the students of the school as models. He could not resist the call to become a free artist, so he studied photography in Le Fresnoy – a university of modern art in Tourcoing, France. Benohoud is now regarded as one of North Africa’s most important artists.
Works are shown here from two of Benohoud’s picture series: Ânes situ (Situated Donkeys) from 2013 and Holes from 2015. For Ânes situ Benohoud built special structures in different geometrical forms, for example, of iron, other metals, concrete or brick and in these he placed donkeys. He was inspired by the block where he lives, wishing to create pictures that said something about the typical Moroccan’s attitude to inside and outside – in this hot country the boundaries between home and street are sometimes fluid. The Holes series was carefully planned. Benohoud asked families if he could make holes in their homes and if they would let themselves be photographed in these cracks in the rooms. The holes were both created and repaired together with a group of builders.
In his work Benohoud explores spatiality, turning everyday life upside down, and in his career he has systematically created unusual scenes by combining ordinary things. The result is surrealistic and bizarre, sometimes frightening and sometimes amusing.