First established in London in 2013, the gallery is launching in Tunis nearly a decade later, in January 2024. With its prime location, situated just northeast of the capital, the new space will boast greater accessibility for collaborations with local institutions, festivals and artistic projects.
It is North Africa’s first commercial space of its kind. Selma Feriani herself articulated the significance of this project: “The new space opens fresh possibilities of displaying and contextualizing art that makes it relevant and accessible to contemporary audiences. This project makes a significant step forward in our commitment to providing a dynamic platform for contemporary art in North Africa.”
Architect Chacha Atallah designed this ecologically conscious building, incorporating solar energy and a rainwater harvesting system. Spanning over 2000m2 and featuring a large-scale exhibition hall with 6.5m high ceilings, this gallery space will also offer a basement space for projections, performances and talks, a mezzanine exhibition platform, a bookshop, and an annual outdoor sculpture commission in its adjoining garden.
“After a decade representing artists from the MENA region and beyond in Tunis, London, and on the global art fair circuit, our artists’ ambitions and needs have grown. Now we must grow with them,” explains Feriani. She envisions the gallery as a hub for global artistic encounters while promoting cultural exchange with the local community. By contributing to the growth of Tunisia and North Africa's art infrastructure, this new space provides artists with a global platform.
The gallery's inaugural exhibition in Tunis will showcase the unseen work of Paris-based Tunisian artist Nidhal Chamekh. The display, titled “Et si Carthage… / And what if Carthage…”, will run from the 25th of January until the 7th of April 2024, with a significant portion of the artwork produced in Tunis at the gallery's L'Atelier space, the establishment’s artist residency programme. Founded in 2021 and currently curated by Salma Kossemtini, L'Atelier embodies the gallery's artist-centric approach and has hosted a diverse range of artists, including Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, Sonia Kacem, Sophia Bsiri, Aymen Mbarki, Ghassen Charifa, and Myriame Dachraoui.
Images : Selma Feriani, Tunis (2024) Photo: Hamza Bennour. Courtesy of Selma Feriani