Straight Out Among the Stars

Detroit, MI / Los Angeles, CA


I remember buying a book in Paris called 'Les Fabuleuses Ruines de Detroit', which caught my imagination and shaped my feeling about the city. When I came to Detroit for the first time earlier this year, I had the chance to re-claim that image and even leave a trace of myself in this great city.

I joined CULTURUNNERS in Detroit to show my work exploring innovation within traditional Islamic art. I have been working as a kind of conduit between artisans working with Islamic patterns in Morocco and the contemporary art and design world in Europe and now for the first time in the US. I came to Detroit with two projects, one for the gallery and one for the street (above).

I was happy to find an audience for my work in Detroit who appreciated my efforts to reach my roots. It seemed they were searching for their roots too. I met artists with links to North Africa and the Middle East, as well as some local artists who had converted to Islam. Whether Hispanic or European or African, there was a consistent conversation about searching beyond the contemporary, into the philosophies and ideas of the past ... in order to find new possibilities for the future.

SYNTAX (series), Paper Relief, 2015

Community Talk at Redbull House of Arts with CULTURUNNERS DETROIT curators, Lila Nazemian and Ava Ansari, and fellow artist, Peyman Shafeezadeh.

CULTURUNNERS DETROIT opening at Redbull House of Arts

Sara Ouhaddou (b. 1986 in Morocco, lives and works between Paris and Morocco), is an artist and designer with an interest in preserving and reinterpreting dying craft techniques and using them as the base of her contemporary art practice. During her residency with Art Jameel, Edge of Arabia and the ISCP from June - August 2015, she will act as a bridge for Middle Eastern artisans based within the greater metropolitan area.

ARTIST: Sara Ouhaddou

CURATORS: Ava Ansari & Lila Nazemian

DATE: 17th - 25th July

SYNTAX (series), Paper Relief, 2015

SYNTAX (series), Paper Relief, 2015

SYNTAX (series), Paper Relief, 2015

Guests at opening of CULTURUNNERS - DETROIT at Redbull House of Arts, Sunday 19 July 2015

Recommended Reading:

The Ruins of Detroit: Photographs (2005-2010)

French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre documented the Detroit landscape. Time Magazine highlighted a selection of their work in "Detroit's Beautiful, Horrible Decline"