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Khadija Jayi

Memory of flames

curated by Silvia Cirelli

opening Tuesday, June 6th, 2023


on view until July 21st, 2023

From June 6th to July 21st, Galleria Anna Marra in Rome, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, will be presenting MEMORY OF FLAMES, curated by Silvia Cirelli, the first solo show in Italy of the artist KHADIJA JAYI (Morocco, 1989), one of the most interesting artists of the emerging contemporary art scene in Morocco.


MEMORY OF FLAMES offers works from this talented artist’s recent projects, presented here in an Italian exclusive. She is already known internationally, having shown her works in Paris, London, Dubai, Copenhagen and Mexico City. In 2021 Khadija Jayi exhibited at the MMVI, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rabat, and in the same year she won second place at the Mustaqbal Prize awarded by the TGCC Fondation of Casablanca.


She has always been an attentive explorer of socio/political and identity themes, which concern both our current cultural history but also her own private sphere. Khadija Jayi translates the precariousness of human nature into art, achieving the so-called “essential”. Her aesthetic is as subtle as it is versatile, blending beauty with suffering, evasion with obligation, but also complicity and then trickery. Jayi unmasks the tensions of human behaviour, capturing the observer with an expressive magnetism of sophisticated rarity.

The artist’s expressive parabola has been strongly influenced by autobiographic elements, a dialectic which one can trace right from her courageous choice to break with the conventional scheme that unfortunately would have prohibited her from following her great passion, art. The scars of this necessary social rupture are found in the poetic synthesis whose focal element is fire. Explosive and vital at the same time, fire becomes for the artist an allegory for fecund energy, elusive, untamable, a representation of the wounds that each of us try to hide in our interior memories.

In fact, for Khadija Jayi, the language of art is the expressive vehicle through which we read the world and with which we can become aware of ourselves, without fear of limits or the scars that inevitably must be healed. It is through the tension between tradition and contemporaneity that the artist draws her vital energy, a testament to the urgency to create an emotional landscape, an intimate place in which once again she can courageously acquire her own identity.


Fascinating and evocative, Khadija Jayi’s artworks restore lyricism to her profound existential investigation, in them clippings from papers, fragments of photographs or geographic maps are transformed by the heat of fire into a material mimesis that reveals its uncontrollable fatality. As in a mosaic of scars impetuously welded together, Jayi’s works astound us with their almost “commemorative” physicality in which boundaries overlap each other, alternating, cancelling, until finally they free themselves from common pictorial limits.

Khadija Jayi’s narrative construction remind us of a symbolic ancestral rituality, that the artist recalls and give currency to, inserting it in a vital contemporaneity, a lexical approach that enchants with its sensorial refinement.


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