Based in Brussels, Jérôme Giller uses walking as a method of artistic creation and as an instrument for the physical experimentation over territories. He walks along geographic lines to demarcate certain territories of interest, which can be social, philosophical, physical and personal at the same time. The archives created from these experiences (photos, video, maps, drawings) create an iconographic and conceptual inventory of the forms of the territories he has crossed.
Jérôme Giller was in residence at LE 18, in Marrakech's medina, from 15 October until 30 November 2018. He returned in March 2019 to present an exhibition of work undertaken during his residency.
In the context of the long-term project Qanat, developed by LE 18 as part of the Meet the Neighbours programme, Jérôme Giller developed a collaborative work with the women weavers of the cooperative "Angouan" ("All United") located in Aït Ourir in the Marrakech region. Jérôme worked with women to create a carpet responding to the imagination and poetics of water. The artist linked the carpet and the art of weaving of Amazigh women to the question of water through a reflection on the space of the common.
In the Amazigh culture, carpets are not just a decorative object. The carpet lives in the house. Folded, it provides seating for guests. Unfolded it serves as a mattress and blankets. When it is on the ground, it insulates from the cold and demarcates the social spaces of the house. The weaving of a carpet is a social event for the Amazigh community. Amazigh women gather around wool and loom to talk, make friends, strengthen the bonds that unite them. The weaving work creates a space for sharing. In its manufacture, the carpet is a real space of expression. Women use the carpet as a communication medium to talk about their relationship to the world. The carpet then becomes a biographical surface and a landscaped painting.
It is with this understanding of the carpet as a common social space among the Amazigh that Jérôme Giller conducts his research. He develops collaborative creative workshops with women weavers to reformulate the space of expression of the carpet, questioning through this artistic gesture the tradition and modernity of the carpet, the transmission of know-how, the view that women have of the landscapes that surround them.
Aïn Zarabi may be translated as The Source of Carpets but also as The Eye of the Carpet. This eye / source of the carpet is a ‘causa sui’, i.e. something that is generated by itself. The eye / source of poetics thus reminds us of everything we see, look at and question us in return.