Patrick Altes: A Story of Revolutions

Paintings and digital artworks by artist Patrick Altes are on display at the University's Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC), Kingsway Buildings.

This exhibition explores representation, diaspora and transition within the context of the colonisation of Algeria and the Algerian revolution. It questions what personal mythologies we create to make sense of the role of geography in our past, furthermore, exploring the role of identity.    

The series of large-scale digital artworks were created by fusing old photographs of a forgotten and lost ‘pied noir’ world in Algeria with sketches, objects, drawings, text and family photographs of Algerian people.

Patrick Altes is a French visual artist of Spanish origins. Born in Algeria in the middle of the war of independence that saw one million settlers of mixed European origins leave Algeria and ‘return’ to France, where Altes grew up in Paris. Altes has lived for many years in South Africa, Ecuador, France and England, gaining an MA in Fine Art from the University of Brighton in 2008. He has been twice recipient of a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Award. Widely exhibited in the UK and Europe, Altes has work held in numerous public and private collections.   

“I seek to dissociate personal nostalgia from its political instrumentalisation as well as question the dominant and widely accepted historical and political narrative relating to this period of history. My work offers a thought-provoking and humanistic narrative challenging a dominant pied-noir discourse imbued with distorted myths and political point scoring”.  

“My artistic process is a personal attempt to shift perceptions and engage in an open-minded and creative dialogue to acknowledge the wounds of the past, the effects of the Algerian revolution but also the new relationship that is emerging after more than 180 years of strained cohabitation. I want this work to contribute in its own way to a new and long overdue political narrative between France and Algeria”.   

The exhibition is open to the public from 10-4 Monday to Friday, from 9th - 30th May 2014