Augure mathématique

Hicham Berrada (*1986 in Morocco) lives and works in Paris and Lille.

He was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2020.
As part of the nomination, a new video work is currently on view as a large insitu installation at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

The works of Hicham Berrada are weaving an elaborate tapestry between science and poetry. They make use of scientific parameters to reveal the universal magic of our daily lives, intricately choreographing a complex dance between chemical particles and physical reactions. It is not about a representation of nature, but rather about nature being present and active in the majority of his works. Hicham employs a variety of media from photography, video and sculpture to installations and performance (which he nicknames “chemical activations”). He has reinterpreted our assumptions of what a painting is: instead of the naked canvas, he takes reality, while replacing paint and brush with physical elements.

The Online Viewing Room focuses on Berrada's latest series Augure mathématique .

Installation view Yokohama Triennial, Japan, 2020

The works from Berrada's series Augures mathématiques show the journey through an abstract landscape that extends into darkness. The porous surface, which acts like a digital membrane, is the result of a mathematical process. Hicham Berrada uses four equations that mathematically represent natural principles: the equation for the branching of roots, the cumulation of clouds, the surface structure of waves, and the calculation of mass land movements. He entered these formulas into open-source software that combines the four equations and uses them to generate high-definition, complex visualizations. Infinitely calculated possibilities are interlinked to create an unlimited landscape of forms, patterns, and textures.
Hicham Berrada’s title—which loosely translates as “Mathematical Omens”—refers to the augurs who, in ancient Roman society, took on the important role of the middlemen between the world of gods and reality. They listened to the will of the deities and, as a mouthpiece of superhuman reasoning and processes, counseled the rulers and magistrates on their decisions. The fear of misfortune was great enough to listen to their advice and to adjust world events to fit their statements.

In order to understand and give shape to the universal rules and laws of the world, the sciences use mathematical formulas that attempt to make generally valid statements about natural phenomena. In Augures mathématiques, Hicham Berrada creates a system whose output parameters are set so that it independently generates images that arise from data structures. The result is an abstract visual landscape that does not depict and represent the world, but is based on some of its inherent connections, concentrated in the form of mathematical abstractions. The work creates a new reality before our eyes, whose relation to our immediate reality stands in contrast to the unreal formulations.

In Augures mathématiques, as in traditional Arabic art, mathematics is acknowledged as the most elevated of all human arts. In the arabesques and geometrical patterns of the latter, the ordering principle of our world is represented through abstraction—a force that creates and orders everything, but cannot actually be represented due to its infinitely complex and all-encompassing quality. Linguistic symbols and calligraphic elements intertwine to form patterns and reveal geometric shapes whose beauty becomes an expression of the divine ordering principle.

Hicham Berrada
Augure mathématique #3, 2020
4k video, duration 4 min 55, unique
video installation with three synchronized 65'' screens, 436 x 91 cm

The 3D-sculptures from the series Augures Mathématiques emerging from the interplay of various equations of morphogenesis. As a sculpture in a dynamic system, it is a hybrid of cloud formations, tree roots, and lichen. 3D printing makes it possible to materialise a virtual unit created on the basis of mathematical calculations. It could possibly even have developed without human intervention, because its growth is based on the laws of physics that determine our world. It expresses a possibility that exists, or perhaps will exist, at other times and in other spaces.

Hicham Berrada
Augure mathématique #1, D, 2020
SLA 3D print, unique
40 x 28 x 29 cm

Hicham Berrada
Augure mathématique #1, E, 2020
SLA 3D print, unique
62 x 35 x 27 cm

Hicham Berrada
Augure mathématique #1, B, 2020
SLA 3D print, unique
40 x 50 x 25 cm

Hicham Berrada
Augure mathématique #1, C, 2020
SLA 3D print, unique
82 x 70 x 83 cm

One artist, one exhibition, one work: every week on ARTE "Atelier A" presents the key works of contemporary French artists. In 2017 the team of "Atelier A" visited Hicham Berrada in his studio were he talks about his works.

Hicham Berrada in his studio, 2020.

For his first solo exhibition in a UK institution the curator of Hayward Gallery, Elmear Martin, discussed Hicham Berrada's works in an interview with the artist.

Installation view at HENI Project Space, Hayward Gallery, London 2019

This year Hicham Berrada was listed in the artists section of Apollo Magazine's "40 Under 40 Africa". Also he was listed number 77 in Capital Magazine's "Kunstkompass 2020".

2020 Hicham Berrada exhibited at Maison des arts in Le Grand-Quevilly and he was part of the Taipei Biennial in Tawan, also he was part of the Yokohama Triennial in Japan and the Riga Biennial. Further he was part of the group exhibtion A Long Time Short at KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf; Sculpture & Nature at Schlossgut Schwante, Oberkrämer (close to Berlin) and Narcisse ou la floraison des mondes im Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MECA in Bordeaux.

In 2021 Hicham Berrada will have his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany at Kunstverein Arnsberg.

2019 he had solo exhibitions at the HENI Project Space, Hayward Gallery in London, the Louvre Lens and the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art in Kennesaw.

Berrada had numerous solo and group exhibition in international institutions such as Seine Punta della Dogana, Museum of the Pinault Collection in Venice; Zadkine Museum, Paris; Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Maubuisson Abbey; in the garden of the castle Versailles; Mac Val, Vitry-sur-Seine; Mac, Lyon; the CCCOD, Tours; MRAC–Musée Régional d’art contemporain Languedoc Roussillon, Sérignan; the Fresnoy–Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; MoMA PS1, New York; ICAS– Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore; Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Banco de la República, Bogota.

His works are part of the collections of the Futurium, Berlin; the Pinault Collection, Venice and the Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf.

Berrada was a fellow of the Villa Medici in Rom and the Pinault Collection in Lens.