Lydia Ourahmane was born in Saïda, Algeria in 1992. She lives in London and works in the UK and in Algeria. Her artistic practice encompasses new media, video, public events, lessons, performances, sculptures, and found objects, exploring youth and transitory forms of existence as well as surveillance and social and political structures. Lydia Ourahmane’s works address the ability of individuals to overcome the historic narratives in which they are grouped; many of them deal with the history of Algeria and its present, and daily life after the civil war of 1997-98. The artist has experienced the reality of military fundamentalism and the intersections of corruption and terrorism, as well as the legacy of ‘independence’ in post-colonial life.
The Third Choir (2014)
The Third Choir is a sound installation composed of twenty empty barrels of Naftal oil exported from Algeria in 2014. Each barrel contains a mobile phone tuned to the same frequency as an FM radio transmitter; the mobiles thus simultaneously emit the same recording, its reverberations amplified by the barrels. The work makes reference to Algerian social and political structures in connection to the objectives and the social instability that led to the phenomenon of illegal immigration. The Third Choir was the first work to be legally exported from Algeria since 1962, the year that laws came into effect to limit the transport of works of art after Algeria was freed from French domination.