UM (ONE) is born from a poetic encounter of affections and lost origins: Alina Duchrow, a Brazilian artist living in Morocco since 2020, and Ziad Naitaddi, a Moroccan artist, have created a multimedia installation through which memories of distant beginnings and displacements that altered lands, lives, names and meanings in time are connected. Duchrow's research finds a point of contact with Naitaddi's work by touching on the question of migration and its echoes. The project emerges from the superposition of two stories, two maps with a shared name: Salé. The number "one" contains both all-things and the origin. The sound "um", which means “one” in Portuguese, in Arabic is the same as "mother". A letter revealed to the artists the story of a Jewish Moroccan man who migrated to the Amazon in search of rubber plantations.
The work includes a set of five images and a video-installation made by the two artists in which the contribution of each one is materialized by the presence of images from their native memories. The images were created through a process of artistic dialogue between Duchrow and Naitaddi. Through the transfer of media - from photography to drawing and from drawing to photography - the Medina of Salé and life in the Amazon forest were superimposed, creating hybrid realities. This action produced a kind of shuffling of the boundaries of symbolic and geographical territories. As a consequence, the juxtaposed artworks suggest a phantasmagorical existence intermeshing the physical and metaphysical. Immigrant memories bring forth two displaced landscapes, each gaining new meaning through their connection. In a poetic exercise of the past through storytelling, the artists rediscover a cartography in which distinct worlds and memories can coexist and communicate, based on a new lexicon , a safe haven on shared earth.
(Text written for the exhibition UM at Le Cube art center in Rabat, Morocco. September 2022)