Henri-François Debailleux :
What would you say to someone who asked you what you do but who has never seen your work?
Najia Mehadji : That I’ve always worked on the idea of time – duration – which is a fundamental aspect of my explorations. You can perceive time in all the lines I draw, which sometimes suggest the rings on a tree trunk. Each line records the time of a physical gesture. The work I’ve been doing with oil sticks since 1996 began with allusions to cacti, because cacti are concretions of time, they’re pure time. Their shapes are demonstrations of time. I’d also say that my work is pretty related to philosophy. I feel very close to certain philosophers like Gilles Deleuze, to whom I owe a great deal, notably for his concepts of diagram and trace, for what he wrote about the movies, about affect imagery. Some of my paintings, for that matter, are titled Chaosmos, which was one of his terms. How can we carve a path between chaos and cosmos, the visible and invisible?