Subscribe to our newsletter for our must-see exhibitions, artists, events and more here
Shop William Kentridge Prints here

Zineb Sedira | Let the drums beat!

04 June - 20 July 2024

Goodman Gallery is pleased to present Let the drums beat!, a solo presentation by Zineb Sedira. This marks the US debut of the British Franco-Algerian artist’s For A Brief Moment the Whole World Was on Fire…and We Have Come Back – a series of colorful photomontages seen in Sedira’s 2019 mid-career survey at Jeu De Paume, Paris. The presentation is also Sedira’s first in our New York office.

Following her critically acclaimed solo at Whitechapel Gallery earlier this year, Let the drums beat! presents new and existing work in which Sedira expands on her exploration of cinema as a tool for joyful resistance and draws on the archive as a device to expose, reconsider and challenge history.

Born in France to Algerian parents, before relocating to London in the mid 1980s, Sedira’s practice has been significantly shaped by her personal experience and multi-hyphenated identity. At the center of her thematic explorations are location, materials and migration, utilizing the archive as a primary tool with which to reveal ongoing struggles and to interrogate readily accepted narratives.


Resin Sculpture with pedestal
Work: 154 x 79 cm
8 photomontages on diasec, various objects, books, DVD and vinyl records, and a painted yellow wall
Color Video 23’ 49’’, 16mm and digital film, Looped projection
Lightbox with light bulbs
Work: 61 x 80 x 14.5 cm
Lightbox with light bulbs
Work: 57 x 110 x 14.5 cm


Zineb Sedira image

Zineb Sedira

Zineb Sedira’s (b. 1963 Paris, France) work has enriched the debate around the concepts of modernism, modernity and its manifestations in an inclusive way for over the fifteen years of her practice. She has also raised awareness of artistic expression and the contemporary experience in North Africa.

She found inspiration initially in researching her identity as a woman with a singular personal geography. From these autobiographical concerns she gradually shifted her interest to more universal ideas of mobility, memory and transmission. Full of her fascination for the relationship between mother and daughter, her vidéo Mother Tongue (2002), depicts three generations of women and raises the issue of transmission in a globalized world.

Sedira has also addressed environmental and geographical issues, negotiating between both past and future. Using portraits, landscapes, language and archival research, she has developed a polyphonic vocabulary, spanning fiction, documentary and more poetic and lyrical approaches. Sedira has worked in installation, photography, film, video and she has recently returned to object-making. Preserving and transmitting memories of the past in order to leave a legacy for the future has often been at the core of Sedira’s work.

Sedira’s work was shown in several solo exhibitions including at the Photographer’s Gallery (London, 2006), at Wapping Project (London, 2008), at New Art Exchange (Nottingham, 2009), at Pori Museum (Finland, 2009), at BildMuseets (Sweden, 2010), at Kunsthalle Nikolaj (Copenhagen, 2010), at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2010), at the [mac] musée d’Art contemporain of Marseille (2010), at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, at Prefix – Institute of Contemporary Art (Toronto, 2010) and et at the Charles H. Scott Gallery in Vancouver and at Blaffer Art Museum, Houston (2013).

Her work was also shown in many group shows in institutions such as Tate Britain (London, 2002), Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2004, 2009), Mori Museum (Tokyo, 2005), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, 2005), Musée d’Art Moderne of Alger (2007), Brooklyn Museum (New York, 2007), Mathaf – Arab Museum of Modern Art (Qatar, 2010), the Contemporary Art Center (Thessaloniki, 2011) at the Tate Britain, London, UK, at the MuCEM, Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerrannée and the Friche de la Belle de Mai (2013), Marseille, at the Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea, at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, France (2013), at the MMK Museum für Mordern Kunst, Germany (2014), as well as in biennials and triennials, including the Venice Biennale (2001 and 2011), the triennial for photography and video at the Institute of Contemporary Photography in New York (2003), the Sharjah Biennale (2003 and 2007) and the Folkestone Triennial (2011).

Sedira is founder of aria (artist residency in algiers), a residency program to support the development of the contemporary art scene in Algeria through international cross-cultural exchanges and collaborations.

Download full CV