Sofiane Ouissi

Choreographer, dancer, and curator (Tunisia)

Sofiane Ouissi is a choreographer, dancer, and curator from Tunis. Since the beginning of his career, he has been collaborating closely with his sister Selma Ouissi. Graduates of the Conservatory of Music and Dance and of the National Centre of Dance, in Tunis, and holders of the French State diploma of dance, they are considered major figures in contemporary dance in the Arab world. The duo’s personal creations include STOP… BOOM (2004) and Waçl (2007), which have been programmed several times in Arab countries and in Europe. In collaboration with digital-arts creator Yacine Sebti, they have realised the choreographic piece Here(s), both remotely and in real time using Skype. The piece has been touring since 2011. That same year, in collaboration with director Cécil Thuillier and filmmaker Nicolas Sburlati, they produced a choreographic film inspired by the work of the female potters of Sejnane, which was shown at the Paris Triennale in the Palais de Tokyo, the David Roberts Art Foudation in London, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the New Museum in New York, the Garage Triennial in Moscow, etc. Continuing their research into the ancestral gestures of the Sejnane artisans, they responded to an invitation for a new creation on the occasion of the Marseille-Provence European Capital of Culture in 2013, with a choreographic/documentary piece entitled Laaroussa. This work, at once choreographic, anthropological, and poetic, based on the gesture of the potters, has been shown at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, La Bâtie – Festival de Genève, Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Bonlieu Scène nationale d’Annecy, and other events. As part of their Performing Room project, Tate Modern in London invited the pair to create Les Yeux d’Argos (2014), a choreographic piece at a planetary scale for an audience of Internet users. Given the success of this collaboration, Tate Modern invited them to rethink the concept for the Do Disturb festival at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in April 2015. In 2007, Selma and Sofiane Ouissi founded the Tunisian association L’Art Rue, dedicated to the production and dissemination of contemporary art in the public space. It is within this structure where all artistic disciplines coexist, intersect, and meet academic thought and reflection, that the duo has created the multidisciplinary biennial of contemporary art in the public space, Dream City, an artistic factory in the rural region of Laaroussa, the quarterly Tunisian magazine Z.A.T. (Temporary Artistic Zone), and is developing a whole programme of support for young contemporary Tunisian creation and a young public programme.