Younes Zemmouri

 Detail of  Aïb (Shame  series)

Detail of Aïb (Shame series)

Younes Zemmouri, born in 1988 in Algeria, currently lives and works in Algiers. In his mixed media work, Younes playfully depicts how censorship is often associated with Islam and those who speak Arabic, comparing it to classical Western censorship. Younes uses Arabic calligraphy to censor the intimate body parts of different classical Greek, Roman, and European sculptures. Each different calligraphic script relates to shame in a different sense–be it disgrace, culpability, guilt, or lack of shame in one's actions. The Arabic with which Younes writes is an Algerian dialect, though most Arabic speakers will be able to understand the meanings of these words.

By implying disgrace, voyeurism, indiscretion, and guilt, Younes explores how contemporary media plays a major part in promoting conflicting information surrounding Arabic culture and how this misinformation lacks self-reflection and insight into Western culture. This series is a way to denounce the duplicity lying beneath both freedom of expression in the West and the socio-cultural ethics of the East, and historic censorship in the West while that of the East is condemned.

Younes graduated from the National Institute of Printing and Graphic arts in 2010, and has since exhibited his work in Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt. East of West's inaugural exhibition will be the first time his work has traveled to the United States.

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