Abdeslam Ziou Ziou is an independent researcher and art consultant concerned with collective dynamics in fields including art history and psychiatry in post-colonial Morocco.
His work examines how collective dynamics are created and dissolved (life–why? and death–how?), also addressing oblivion and creative dynamics and the international circulation of concepts through informal networks of knowledge in a bottom-up approach. Other research interests include institutional psychotherapy, anti-psychiatry and how Maghrebian psychiatrists created ways of healing the soul. He is also interested in archives and curation, not as working tools or analytic sources, but as material permitting storytelling.
As part of a residency related to the School of Casablanca project in Morocco (2021), Ziou Ziou developed an installation entitled Madness Poetry Resistance(s), based upon an investigation of his family archives at the Berrechid Psychiatric Hospital in Morocco and its ground-breaking therapeutic practices at the intersection of art and psychiatry. To investigate this period, he uses family archives in visual, audio, and documentary form, as well as personal testimonies. He attempts to understand his family history by assuming a subjective bias within his research practice, not seeking to report a past historical event but instead to tell a story, namely an intimate and poetic one witnessing a period in the recent past in which collective dynamics played a significant role.
Ziou Ziou has participated in a number of exhibitions and transdisciplinary art and research programs, including Untie to Tie, Movement. Bewegung (part of the HOUDOUD–Program), ifa-Galerie Berlin/Germany (2019), and Ultrasanity. On Madness, Sanitation, Antipsychiatry and Resistance, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2019).
He is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, including the CAORC/Mellon Fellowship in Modern Art History, Centre d’Étude Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) (2020–2021); the HOUDOUD–Program Joint Project of Artists and Researchers carried by UNESCO; the Fatima Mernissi Chair/University Mohamed V/HEM–ifa Berlin; and the Casa de La Cultura Oaxaqueña internship scholarship in Mexico (2011), which he completed during his Masters.
Ziou Ziou acted as a mediation training coordinator and mentor for the Al Moutawassit: Cultural Mediation as a Meeting Point program at Manifesta 13 Biennale, Marseille/France (2020). He also worked as a project and research manager at L’Atelier de l’Observatoire, Casablanca/Morocco (2018–2020).