Hicham Benohoud received a degree in visual arts and taught art in a school in Marrakech, which in turn inspired his series ‘La Salle de Classe’ (The Classroom), 1994-2000. A performative set of photographs styled with wire, paper, fabric, boxes, for the school children to wear and play around with, creating different poses and gestures. A theatre of play, with the set of photographs propelling questions on authority, the idea of the collective and the individual, as well as referencing social issues, such as power relations between the institution and the pupils.
In Benohoud’s series ‘The Hole’ power dynamics are also explored, where Benohoud asks inhabitants in Marrakesh to make holes in their homes, in the floor, ceiling or wall, photographing them in poses of their choice, through or around the holes.
This series, the holes, act as metaphor for part of life, the feeling of being stuck, dependant, absorbed by an environment, situation or circumstances outside one’s control.
Figures in Benohoud’s photography are both performing and living the essence and meaning that lies behind the performance, being both directed by Benohoud, and reflecting their own gestures.
In the artists’ series, ’Acrobatie’, real acrobats perform in their homes with their families, showcasing their talent of acrobatics. This time the body is the only connector between figures, without the intermediary of a hole. Bodies bend, turn and are lifted, creating forms and shapes.
Hicham Benohoud’s photography expresses socio-political issues which concern people and their everyday lives, reflects on power relations and dynamics, and is a call to connect through. An engaging, commanding body of work, portraying creativity and imagination in real time without any retouching or photography distortion, and where movement is felt even in a still shot.
Born in 1968 in Marrakech and lives in France. After obtaining a baccalaureate in visual arts in 1987, he headed to the regional educational center in Marrakech, with a view to teaching visual arts in colleges. From 1998, he exhibited in France, notably at the Center Georges Pompidou, the Grand Palais, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He has also exhibited at the Hayward Gallery in London, at the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, at the Mori Museum in Tokyo, at the Aperture Foundation in New York, at the Maison Européenne de La Photographie, at the Tate Modern in London, etc. He has participated in several Biennials and International Fairs such as Photo Espanã, Paris Photo, Art Paris, the Brussels Fair, the Dakar Biennial, the Bamako Photographic Meetings, the Pontevedra Biennial in Spain, the Thessaloniki Biennial in Greece, Landskrona Photo Festival in Sweden, etc. He was the winner of Photo Service in Arles and the “Visa pour la Création” Prize awarded by Cultures France. He has two monographs “The classroom” and “The high school students by themselves” published by Editions de l’Œil in France and has contributed to numerous works on photography such as “Contemporary photography” by Editions Scala, “Les 15 ans de l’agence VU” by Editions de la Martinière, “Objectif Photographie” by Editions Autre, “Body in contemporary art” at Editions Thames and Hudson, etc.