Art exhibition explores ‘A Story of Revolution

Posted on 17th May 2014

A collection of digital artworks and paintings by French artist Patrick Altes is currently being exhibited at the University of Chester’s art gallery.

A deeply personal and subjective exploration of identity, A Story of Revolutions, is now open at the Contemporary Art pace Chester (CASC), based at the University’s Kingsway Buildings in Newton.

The work explores shifting and ambivalent attitudes about belonging, dispossession and migration and draws on the artist’s experience of arriving in Paris at the age of four, his family having been displaced from their home as the Algerian War of Independence expelled its population of European colonists.

In 2012 he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust residency and used the year to develop work around the socio-political legacy of the Algerian War of Independence – the results of which are seen in this collection of works.

Using some images provided by people in Algeria, he digitally composed collages alongside his paintings. In the collages, significant French Algerian landmarks are used to create narratives to illustrate how the populations affected by the Algerian War of Independence have evolved since 1962.

Speaking of this exhibition, he said: “The work is a series of large-scale digital artworks created by fusing old photographs of a forgotten and lost ‘pied noir’ world in Algeria prior to the expulsion of the French by the revolutionary Algerians in 1962, sourced from family photographic archives of French settlers with my own contemporary images, sketches, objects, drawings and text and family photographic archives of Algerian people. 

“The transactional act of my request for photographs of someone’s private, personal history – and their selecting, handing them and giving me permission is in fact a dynamic exchange in the now where they share their personal history to an artistic exploration that encompasses past, present and future.”

A Story of Revolution runs until May 30 and is open to the public between 10am and 4pm on week days. Admission is free.

For more information about CASC, visit www.chester.ac.uk/casc