Musk and Amber


"Farchi" at the Musk and Amber Gallery  by Mourad Zoghlami


Exhibition Date: October 13,  2023




At night, the usual train stops by my room, a train of unknown destinations. Only when my heavy body sinks in the mattress can I see it arrive, behind the dark ink veil of my eyelids.


Only then, can the journey begin, an adventure where the extraordinary carves itself in the compass of the possible. Sunken in my bed, I get lost in the sheets, and my conscience leaks from between my fingers, immaterial, unstoppable drip; the price to pay for a ticket on the train.

My soul, ridden of all futilities, crystal pure, leaps out of my skin which limits its boundless capacities. It slithers over the bed, slides under the door, flies through the windows. My fate remains in its nebulous hands, and I find myself swallowed by ocean and wind, a lost soul at sea. Sometimes calm water and sparkly sky are graced upon me, other times a vicious storm is willing to devour me. My bed becomes my makeshift raft, blown by the merciless waves, eaten by the dark waters; and I cling onto the wooden frame as my sheets become sail, unfurl and fly me into the angry clouds. 


Things entwine and intertwine, go beyond the state we know them for, become everything and nothing at all. A twitch of my finger is all it takes for the scales to change, a blink makes the proportions complete opposites, everything is constantly changing in flashes of light to resemble reality in a continuous and choppy blur of trial and error.

Space and time as we know them do not rule in this gap between the real and the unreal. Space becomes a bubble, blown by a simple breath, bouncing against sounds of voices that were long uttered in forgotten times. Time ceases existing, the clocks disappearing with the echo of their last ‘tick’; and I let sleep invite me in.


However, despite the maze of dreams and nightmares from which I only remember bits and pieces, when I finally open my eyes I always find myself in my bed, the only witness to it all.

Kmar Zoghlami

 « L’homme en tant qu’homme ne peut vivre horizontalement. Son repos, son sommeil est le plus souvent une chute »


 « Man, as man, cannot live horizontally. His rest, his sleep is most often a fall »


« Quand de ses doux liens le sommeil nous enchaîne,
 Plongés dans le néant de sa torpeur sereine,
 Nous croyons par instant veiller et nous mouvoir,
 Et, dans un lieu fermé, sous l’aveugle nuit, voir
 Le jour et la splendeur du soleil… »



« When sleep binds us with its sweet bonds,
Plunged in the nothingness of its serene torpor,
We think for a moment that we are awake and moving,
And, in a closed place, under the blind night, see
The day and the splendour of the sun... »


« Muets dans le silence austère de la nuit,
Nous percevons des voix qui frappent nos oreilles,
Et nous y répondons. Combien d’autres merveilles
S’efforcent d’ébranler la foi qu’on doit aux sens !
Mais c’est en vain. Les sens demeurent innocents.
C’est nous qui leur prêtons ces fictions des songes. »



« Mute in the austere silence of the night,
We hear voices ringing in our ears,
And we respond. How many other wonders
Strive to shake the faith we owe to the senses!
But in vain. The senses remain innocent.
It is we who lend them the fictions of dreams. »




An architect by training, Mourad Zoghlami studied at the Tunis Technological Institute of Art, Architecture and Town Planning.


His years at ITAAUT gave him close contact with the arts, including architecture, but also painting, sculpture and all kinds of graphic arts.


This rich and versatile training consolidated his curriculum and enabled him to win national and international architecture competitions, including the Tunis Stock Exchange, the Tunisian pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in South Korea, the Tunisian pavilion in Milan, and the headquarters of the Tunisian General Labour Union, to name but a few. He was voted best architect of 2010 and awarded the Grand Prix National d'Architecture.


For him, an architectural project goes through a long and complex process, with several constraints to overcome. Through painting, he wanted to free himself and express his sensations and emotions without any limits.

Initially, his drawings and sketches never exceeded the A4 format of his notebook, but the pandemic was the trigger. It was then that he felt the need to move on to larger formats. His first solo exhibition in 2021, "El bhim et ses cinquante nuances polychromes", reflected the malaise and moods of Tunisians after the revolution. His second exhibition, 'Farchi', is a solitary journey, a deep sleep that isolates and separates us from the real world. His works cradle us, hypnotising us and touching the depths of our being.


Whatever the space around us, or the mattress we're on, it's an epic that transcends this reality, a journey we take alone, into the depths of the subconscious.


His painting follows no ideology, no criteria of any movement or fashion of the moment. He has his own style, intriguing and unexpected. With an original, rich and vibrant palette, he succeeds in taking us into his world and taking us on a journey. His works are full of meaning, and their stories leave no one indifferent.

This new exhibition, 'Farchi', will be an escape, just as anyone can find a refuge in their bed, and escape the real world by oscillating between sleep, dreams and chimeras.