Zoulikha Bouabdellah
Photo: Carlos Alba
Photo: Carlos Alba

b. 1977, Moscow

Zoulikha Bouabdellah spent her childhood in Algeria, moving to France with her family at the age of sixteen to escape the civil war. She graduated from the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Cergy-Pontoise, France, in 2002 and currently splits her time between Paris and Casablanca.

Working in a wide variety of mediums, Bouabdellah brings a feminist perspective to bear on cultural hybridism, social justice, and globalization, frequently exploring love and intimacy against these backdrops. She often employs the traditional trappings of religion, such as prayer rugs and hijabs, pairing them with symbols of modernity as she
questions the influence of religion and culture, the conditions of women, and the function of language.

Bouabdellah has completed several residencies, most recently at Art School Palestine, Ramallah (2009), and Amherst College, MA (2008). Her work has been in group exhibitions such as Perspectives: Women and Islam, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, New York (2009); The Third Space: Cultural Identity Today, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA (2008); Airs de Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (2007); and Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2004, traveled). She also participated in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and 5th Rencontres de Bamako (2003). Solo exhibitions include Zoulikha Bouabdellah: Set Me Free from My Chains, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2010); Hobb, La B.A.N.K. Galerie, Paris (2009); and Zoulikha Bouabdellah, South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2005). Boubdellah won the Prix Le Meurice pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris (2008), and Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai (2009).