Projects 102, part of The Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series, is the first solo New York museum exhibition of the work of emerging artist Neïl Beloufa (Algerian-French, born 1985), who combines moving images and sculptural forms to create immersive viewing spaces. Created especially for this exhibition, the installation The Colonies (2016) was made by hand, using inexpensive construction materials and techniques. Within this environment, Beloufa deliberately obstructs and refracts images, diffusing them onto multiple surfaces. By revealing the cables and cords in his works and looping in images of viewers through closed-circuit television, the artist makes technology visible and incorporates the spectator as an individual participant in and producer of surveillance culture.
The video at the center of the presentation, People’s passion, lifestyle, beautiful wine, gigantic glass towers, all surrounded by water (2011), features a group of people in an unnamed city enthusiastically describing their experience there. Beloufa works collaboratively, and in this instance he teamed up with actors to generate scripts that imitate popular genres including infomercials and science fiction films. He has repurposed the video in different custom-built environments, installing it here with a view of Midtown Manhattan.
Beloufa received his Visual Arts National Diploma at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2007), and he studied at Cooper Union in New York and California Institute of the Arts in California. His work has been featured in numerous international solo and group exhibitions.
Organized by Thomas J. Lax, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA