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French artist sculpts immersive experience for Columbus museum

Greg Miller Photography

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Though many think of art in terms of paint and canvas, French artist Latifa Echakhch’s (pronounced E-shash-kah) work is a bit different.

Echakhch has created a sculptural installation that will debut at the Columbus Museum of Art Jan. 13.

“(Echakhch’s) sculptural work often considers the implications of globalization using everyday objects or cultural symbols that, taken from their normal context, acquire a new meaning,” said Nancy Colvin, marketing and communications manager at the Columbus Museum of Art, in an email.

Echakhch was born in Morocco in 1974. In her works, she has used a varying list of materials such as tea glasses, carbon paper and ink.

The use of these objects in her artwork allows her to reflect on her Moroccan heritage, Colvin said.

Echakhch’s latest piece is a response to the “Philip and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art 1930 – 1970” housed at CMA. Some works from the Schiller collection are on display throughout the permanent galleries. Her piece incorporates stone lithographs (stones used to make prints of books or pictures) and objects relating to the American West. This work is a “Currents” exhibition of CMA. “Currents” focuses on works of international artists that are ahead of the rest.

The work due to debut at the CMA is an installation piece, which is a large-scale, three-dimensional piece.

“Installation art employs experiential strategies through immursive (sic) environments to evoke complex and multiple associations for the viewer,” said Michael Hardesty, graduate program coordinator of art, in an email.

Echakhch’s work is designed to get people thinking about things, specifically cultural and political relations.

“I think that she has an ability to talk about macro-issues such as identity in a way that is poetic,” said Lisa Dent, associate curator of contemporary arts.

Dent said Echakhch’s work is something students should come to see.

“It gives them (students) an opportunity to see work by a young, up-and-coming artist outside of the U.S., who is deeply interested and engaged in the current art scene,” Dent said.

Echakhch was not available for comment because she is out of the country.

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