Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders

June 30–October 2, 2017
Roberts Gallery

Mohamed Bourouissa. Still from Horse Day, 2015. Video diptych. 14 min 7 s. © ADAGP Mohamed Bourouissa. Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London

Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders features approximately 85 works—including drawings, photos, costumes, sculptures, and a video—many presented for the first time in the US. Since 2002, Bourouissa (b. 1978, Algeria; lives and works in Paris) has been developing a photography practice, drawing, and creating video rooted in social reality. Working primarily with representations of a contemporary urban environment, he is interested in the stereotypes associated with geographic and social spaces. Inspired by painting and contemporary photography, his works interweave fictional and documentary threads.

In 2014, for his first project in the US, Bourouissa focused his attention on a North Philadelphia community’s efforts at neighborhood revitalization. His response included designing, staging, filming, and photographing an equestrian event, which he called "Horse Day," at a local stable: his photographs and film show extravagantly costumed young riders and their decorated mounts as fantastic figures, transcending their economic circumstances. This exhibition showcases the body of work—already acclaimed in Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam—that Bourouissa inspired and created during his stay in Philadelphia.


Exhibition Organization:

Curator: Sylvie Patry, deputy director for collections & exhibitions, and Gund Family Chief Curator


Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders is sponsored by


Major support for Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders is provided by Étant Donnés Contemporary Art, a program of the FACE Foundation, developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with lead funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and Institut français, Paris.


With additional support from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund:

John Alchin and Hal Marryatt
Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz
Lois and Julian Brodsky
Laura and Bill Buck
Joan Carter and John Aglialoro
Dan and Monica DiLella
Eugene and Michelle Dubay
Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden
Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest
Victoria McNeil Le Vine
Leigh and John Middleton
Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation
Jeanette and Joe Neubauer
Kay and Michael Park
Aileen and Brian Roberts
Adele and Harold Schaeffer
Katie and Tony Schaeffer
van Beuren Charitable Foundation
Kirsten White
A. Morris Williams, Jr.

And generous contributions from:

The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and The Rittenhouse Hotel.

The exhibition catalogue is made possible with support from kamel mennour, Paris/London.

Free Exhibition Tours

July 5–October 2


Exhibition access included with general admission

Adult: $25
Senior: $23
Student*/Youth: $10

*Free admission on weekdays for all college and graduate students with valid student ID.

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Go Further

For a conversation with artist Mohamed Bourouissa about his work and the Urban Riders exhibition, tune into VERSO, our new behind-the-scenes podcast series!

Subscribe to VERSO by searching for "Barnes Foundation" on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. 

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