Nabil El Makhloufi grapples with themes of self-authorship,
alienation, nostalgia and the cultural plurality of migration. The artist presents a suite of paintings that explores indeterminate realities as substrates for bodies. Central to the thematic thrust of this selection is the motif of water. Saturated with religious and cultural connotations, the dualities of the sea are myriad: it evokes rebirth, purity and clarity on the one hand, displacement, disappearance and mystery on the
other, all applicable to the competing threads of optimism and nostalgia, hope and regret at the core of the migrant’s journey. Juxtaposing canvases heavily populated by indistinguishable figures huddled
in crowds against stoic, meditative individual portraits magnifies the sense of anonymity and alienation implicit in the limbo of the cultural in-between.