Born in Algeria, Nicole Guiraud immigrated 1962 to France following the Algerian independence and has been shuttling between France and Germany for many years.
One part of her artistic oeuvre consists of building temporary homes whose objects, collages, and drawings refer mostly to Algeria. Guiraud’s central themes include homelessness , identity abroad, and the fugacity of time.
Developed over decades, the works are the artistic constructions of a very personal memory space. With their manifold layers of meaning and their idiosyncratic combinations of writing, images, and metaphors, these collages, drawings, and objects open a consolidated perspective on the world and represent an ever expanding plastic diary displayed either on transparent material behind glass or in show cabinets.
In trying to decipher the embedded messages through the partly transparent material, the observer continually reaches new conclusions. Guiraud’s artistic productions are filled with a longing for a lost African “paradise” and a hope of overcoming the experienced traumas of war and exile. The same hope also shapes her political work: the artist has been involved in the Mouvement d’Algérie-Djazair for years, working together with Algerians and French Algerians to explore the cultural richness of the country by coming to terms with the its dramatic, multifaceted, and often disputed history, the ultimate goal being to reconcile the country’s various groups.
- Diary-like Collages - 2005 to 2009: Combination of words and images on transparent material, painted-over photocopies on film, various formats.
- LES OMBRES / The Shadows - 2009: Series of 17 black-and-white portraits of both real and fictive people from all over the world who, from the 1950s to today, have disappeared without a trace in the context of war. An homage to all innocent civilians that become victims of violent political conflicts.
- Preserving Jar. From the series Le monde en bocal/The World in a Preserving Jar.