Lydia Ourahmane and Alex Ayed: LAWS OF CONFUSION

Opening: Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 3 – 6 pm
Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 – Jan 30, 2022

University of Chicago
5811 S. Ellis Ave.
Cobb Hall, 4th fl.
Chicago, IL, 60637

LAWS OF CONFUSION is the second collaboration of Lydia Ourahmane and Alex Ayed, whose individual practices converge in a choreography of movements. Together, they contend with ideas of displacement and the friction between personal histories and wider narratives–­–geopolitical, mystical, speculative, technological. This new exhibition hinges on interceded or interrupted communications in various forms. On a more fundamental level, the show is a culmination of a sustained, ever-evolving, and at times chaotic process—what the artists describe as an “unraveling of attempts.”

Lydia Ourahmane (b. 1992, Saïda; lives between Barcelona and Algiers) and Alex Ayed (b. 1989, Strasbourg; lives between Brussels, Paris, and Tunis) will create a new collaborative body of work, bringing together the artists’ shared embrace of indeterminacy, forms of intimacy, and ideas of magic as ways to interrupt belief systems, or cultural ”macro patterns.”

In her own practice, Ourahmane often excavates geopolitical histories through a choreography of research, cultural artifacts, and personal effects. Ayed’s practice, in turn, offers fleeting impressions of places, movements, and dialects in almost familiar objects in careful arrangements—like physical incarnations of an oral tradition. Both artists outwit fixed narratives of the world’s evolution and their work, and at the Renaissance Society, their collaboration finds new pathways through dialogue and improvisation. 

Curated by Myriam Ben Salah and Karsten Lund.



The Renaissance Society is free to all.

During exhibitions, the gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday. Daily hours are 12–6pm, except for Friday, when we are open 1–7pm.

The gallery is located on the fourth floor of Cobb Hall at the University of Chicago, at 5811 South Ellis Avenue. Cobb Hall is accessible from the sidewalk level via platform lift, which is located inside the entrance at the south-east corner of the building. An elevator is available for access to the fourth floor.

Learn more, including COVID-19 precautions, here.



Image: Ghost Dog, 2021. Courtesy of the artists.