Mohamed Bourouissa’s Artful Dramatizations Of Everyday Life

Tausif Noor at The New Yorker:

Upon returning to Paris in the aftermath of the riots, Bourouissa began spending time in the banlieues with friends, who introduced him to more people who lived there. He eventually conscripted these figures, mostly men from immigrant backgrounds, as subjects for a series of staged photographs composed in the tradition of tableaux vivants, or living pictures—an uncanny arrangement that places ordinary people in relief against their normal environments, to an intimate yet estranging effect. The first of these staged pictures, “La fenêtre” (“The Window”), depicts two Black men captured mid-conversation, a shocking lime-green wall their background. The taut musculature of their torsos—one clothed, the other bare, a large tattoo sprawling across the curve of his back—is accentuated by the light streaming in through the titular window at top left, heightening the dramatic tension that pervades the scene. Here, the two figures stand in for the strained relations between the state and its frustrated poor, and between civil society and the immigrant class circumscribed to its périphérique—the name Bourouissa would later give to the series of photographs, after the circular highway separating Paris from its outer suburbs.

more here.