Tarek Lakhrissi

The impact of storytelling and representation should not be underestimated. For Brussels’ many minorities, representation in films, music, and gaming constitutes an important link in their emancipation. With RISING, Tarek Lakhrissi creates a new world on the façade of Kanal, a world that finds strength in melancholy, where there is room for alternative perspectives and stories.

RISING, Tarek Lakhrissi’s commission for the FAÇADE series of artlead & Kanal-Centre Pompidou, explores representation and storytelling, with a particular focus on the experience of queer people of colour. For these intersecting communities that challenge the norms of gender identity, sexual orientation, and structural racism, representation in cinema, music, games, and digital culture holds emancipatory value. The exchange with like-minded individuals fosters a sense of pride, belonging, and togetherness, crucial for navigating traditional narratives and imagining alternatives.

In a style that might best be described as “tech noir” combining elements from sci-fi, cyberpunk and film noir, RISING pays homage to cinema and gaming. The protagonist is a fighter with angel wings and acts as the artist’s avatar. Emerging from a fictitious and sombre landscape, the angel exudes neither triumph nor defeat, but rather appears gloomy and pensive. In reference to queer theorist José Esteban Muñoz, Tarek Lakhrissi suggests that melancholy and grievance are integral to queer and postcolonial capacities for resistance and reinvention, and form an integral part of daily life. RISING intricately links melancholy with strength, challenging its conventional perception, instead suggesting that it serves as a coping mechanism in the face of contemporary struggles.

In a city as diverse as Brussels, the urban fabric calls into question traditional notions of majority and minority. RISING offers a panoramic landscape to reflect on current complexities, including ecological?, social, and political tensions. Worldmaking can serve as a tool of resistance, offering avenues for reimagining and challenging prevailing narratives. Situated between bliss and melancholy, RISING underscores the importance of alternative perspectives and narratives, illustrating the transformative power of storytelling.

Tarek Lakhrissi, an artist based in Paris, explores sociopolitical questions and speculative scenarios through various mediums including text, film, installation and performance. His work, deeply rooted in his fascination for poetry, literature and pop culture, explores social and cultural issues, often from the perspective of queer and BIPOC communities.

Lakhrissi’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, including at the Migros Museum (Zürich), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), WIELS (Brussels), and Haus der Kunst (Munich). He has also taken part in the Sydney Biennial, the Baltic Triennial, and the Quadriennale di Roma. He has given performances and readings at the Centre Pompidou and Lafayette Anticipations (Paris), Auto Italia South East (London), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London). His publications include LE SANG ! BLOOD! (2022), a book of poetry published by Lafayette Anticipations, and fantaisie finale (2019), published by Cneai – centre national édition art image.


The FAÇADE series is co-curated and co-produced by KANAL-Centre Pompidou and artlead.



The FAÇADE series is co-curated and co-produced by KANAL-Centre Pompidou and artlead.

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