Middle East & Africa

Younes Ben Slimane
All Come From Dust

All Come From Dust by Younes Ben Slimane follows men in Tozeur, Tunisia, manipulating raw clay into terracotta bricks to rebuild a home from its ruins. The short film is an ode to cycles and rebirth, as seen through the lens of an ancient practice that has stood the test of time. The artist notes that as a geographic location, Tozeur, tethers his films together because this desert environment symbolizes the ongoing legacy of the artist’s ancestors who transformed clay into bricks. This particular film arose from several research trips to Tozeur that the artist made for his dissertation at the National School of Architecture and Urbanism in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. Slimane’s dissertation La brique du Poiesis a l’Aesthesis examines the distinctive vernacular architecture of Southern Tunisia, paying particular attention to the poetic power of the terracotta bricks. The resulting film maintains the quintessential character of the region’s vernacular architecture, rather than adopting a documentary approach to the production of terracotta bricks. As traditional brick-making practices face extinction, Slimane recognized an urgency for this film in order to capture the uniqueness and significance of this ceremonial craft.

Younes Ben Slimane is an artist and filmmaker whose training as an architect has a major influence on his artistic approach. Working in film, video, drawing and installation, Slimane establishes a dialogue between architecture and visual art, wherein different mediums coexist and reflect their potentialities and limitations.