Exhibition — 10 Sep 2016 until 8 Jan 2017

Last year, the Stedelijk bought a photograph and a two-channel video by the French-Algerian artist Mohamed Bourouissa. Both works represent a facet of the project Horseday (2013-present). This autumn, the Stedelijk will present the works as part of a gallery-filling installation designed by the artist.   

Bourouissa (1978, Blida) lives and works in Paris. He is renowned for his dynamic, impactful colour photographs of youth, immigrants and everyday life in the Paris suburbs. For his most recent piece, Horseday, Bourouissa worked with a local community in Philadelphia (US). Fascinated by the role that horses, stables and riding plays in the life of the African American community, he collaborated with artists and riders to launch a competition for the most elegantly decorated horse. Bourouissa translated this event into imposing photos, a film and a sequence of sculptures. The images powerfully reference the notion of the classic, sometimes stereotypical, cowboy. The video largely comprises footage of daily life in combination with the staged event.


After graduating from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Mohamed Bourouissa attracted the attention of the international art world with his series Périphérique, in which the artist registered the tensions and turbulence on the streets of Paris suburbs. While the photos appear to be documentary in nature, candid shots of street life, they are in fact meticulously staged photos of situations that young people face every day, magnified by the artist’s use of fiction and staging. The artist chose video as the principal medium for subsequent projects such as Temps Mort (2009) and Légende (2010). Temps Mort is based on photos and texts made by prisoners on mobile phones smuggled into the penitentiary. In Légende, the artist set up hidden cameras to film illegal cigarette vendors working the Paris subway station of Barbès. Bourouissa is interested in systems, how society is structured, and how social processes are activated. Unlike traditional socially-critical photographers, he always works inside, and in collaboration with communities.

For the Horseday project, Bourouissa also produces three-dimensional objects such as sections of car bodies onto which he prints photographs. The artist often seeks out specific themes and status symbols that hold significance for a particular community. The presentation at the Stedelijk Museum will feature an expanded installation of this project augmented with preliminary studies, a spatial projection and photographs printed on an array of materials.


The Stedelijk Museum continuously presents dynamic solo exhibitions by a young generation of artists. Many of these are new productions and recent purchases that tie in with the museum’s acquisitions policy. The Stedelijk seeks to respond to current events and stimulate contemporary talent by, in some cases, also taking on the position of commissioner. Its commitment to developing lasting relationships with young artists shapes the future identity of the museum’s collection.

The presentations in 2016 and 2017 are made possible by Ammodo.