The  central  band  of  the installation bears the mark of a long break through which one can see pieces of fabric sewn together.  They  echo  the  tradition  of  the  quilt  revisited here  in  a contemporary way by the type of arrangement and the choice of forms.  This parallel recalls the relativity of time,  the currents,  the sedimented layers of memory and stories that make up this altogether elusive identity to which we often cling.

The quilts were created in sections, much like paintings, and assembled into a path 12 meters long.

On the ground,  intersecting the central strip,  and arranged in a circle,     thousands     of     small plaster  casts shaped like stupas which  the  Tibetans call tsa tsa, and which are sometimes used to   contain   the  ashes   of   the deceased.  In ENGRAMME,   the artist     was    inspired    by    this tradition and has sealed various texts,     letters    and     precious photos     that     relatives     and anonymous  collaborators have agreed  to  burn as a gesture of surrender    and     detachment. Some  of  this ash has also been inserted and used as a pigment in    the      interstices     of     the imaginary   writing  that   covers the band-paths.

A video projected on the wall shows us a  moment   of   dispossession   by   fire. Before  our  eyes,  one  of   those   texts becomes  a  slow  and  graceful  veil of smoke.  Through  this  ritual,   something dies.  A  gesture  of   dispossession  that allows for a transformation.

On  the   side   walls,  mixed media  artworks  and  various  visual  elements  complete  the installation.  All illustrate  our  reality  as travelers on a road to find ourselves, on the way to our original nature, free from traces, free of engrams...

Passage, triptych, 180 cm x 425 cm x 12 cm

The incantatory effect of the repeating elements - thousands of casts, tens of meters scripts and quilt -  and   the   selected soundtrack (from « The Astounding Eyes Of Rita »,  by Anouar Brahem)   all   add   up   to   create   a   territory   that  invites contemplation.  ENGRAMME  is   designed   to  envelop   the visitor,  to offer a sound,  visual and tactile immersion so as to become  an  integral  part  of  the  installation, to enter it « as one enters the sea,  this  soothing womb that acts on us from within. » *

Adrienne LUCE, « Engramme de Nadia-Aït-Saïd au Musée de la Gaspésie », Le Mouton noir, Rimouski, february 2014, p. 11»

ENGRAMME Installation Video (2 min), Centre d'Exposition d'Amos, Amos

Soundtrack: extract from « The Astounding Eyes Of Rita », Anouar Brahem, EMC Records GmbH

To see photos of this installation held at “Centre d’exposition d’Amos” in Amos, Quebec, from 13 February to 6 April 2014.

To see photos of this installation  as well as a short video of this installation held at “Musée de la Gaspésie” in Gaspé, Quebec, from 16 November 2013 to 26 January 2014.

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The  word "engramme" comes  from  the  Greek  words  engram (in, within)  and  gramma  (character,  trait).  In neurophysiology,  the  engram  is  the  biological  trace  memory  (mnemonic  trace or artifact)  in the brain.  As for  the  installation  of  Nadia Aït - Saïd,  the word refers to various imprints deposited in us by life - desires, fears, conditionnings,  etc.  -  that  we  consider  our  backstory .   Thus,  the  work represents a phasing-out process for these engrams, inviting us to glimpse at this naked identity, virgin, fundamental, that fascinates the artist.  In this, of course, everyone will find his own path, his own destination.

Centre d'exposition d'Amos, Amos, Quebec

Engramme is composed of three strips of fabric, coated with a structural mortar, that extend in space. Suspended from the ceiling, they run down the wall and unfold on the floor, as aisles that the visitor is asked to borrow, barefoot. In each of them, an imaginary script, symbol of all forms of traces, was engraved, encrypted in a spontaneous gesture and anchored in the present moment. The earthy color of the opening of the bands and the writings fade towards the wall until the whiteness of the bare material is revealed.