Welcome on 2fikornot2fik.com, Welcome.
My name is 2Fik (pronounce Tou-fik) and I’m an interdisciplinary artist. My works, that take forms of photography, videos and live performance usually deal with identity.
I see myself as a stateless person. Indeed, I’m involved in three different cultures (the Canadian, the French and the Moroccan one) and has experienced what we can call “being lost in translation” a lot of time. Even if those societies are dear to me, none of them sees me as fully of them (because of my accent, my attitude, etc.)
That was the point that starting this whole creative process : self-questionning and self-determination whitin different communities (ethnic, language or sexual orientation one).
My photo work can be described as a photo-soap-opera where people from different cultures meet and evolve. As I use my own body and I am the only person playing all the characters, I also question my own personal identity.
Enjoy and don’t hesitate to write if you have any question !
WHO I AM?
Born in Paris in a Moroccan Muslim family, 2Fik has lived in France for most of his life. As he also spent several years in Morocco, he also identifies with it's culture. In 2003, on the spur-of-the-moment, he came to Montreal, a destination chosen for its apparent tranquility. Following his emigration experiences, 2Fik rapidly found himself amidst a fusion of religion, politics and society.
As an artistic director, photographer and model, 2Fik captures pictures of himself that he likens to a single image. He can therefore be found several times in his photographs, in various attitudes and sporting a range of accessories. Through his toying with reality and fiction, the viewer becomes confused. 2Fik's recurrent characters end up embodying real individuals to whom the artist gives a complete identity: personality, age, sex, origin, occupation and interests. These figures are related to each other: they arise from the universe and life experiences of the artist.
2Fik assigns them traits taken from his own personality, discreetly unfolding through his disguises. The protagonists come to live against the backdrop of a multicultural Montreal, simultaneously creating time a TV-style reality show where their destinies revolve around Fatima. She is central to all the other characters: Abdel, Manon, Benjamin, Sofiane, Marco, Alice, and Francine. The sum of these character's experiences and their emotional baggage add up to different social realities, providing keys to understanding their respective existence. Conducted from a voyeuristic perspective, the photographs generate our desire to know what was happening outside the frame. However, a second interpretation takes us beyond reality television, because these lives are in reality a reflection of our current society.
2Fik's photographs drawthe viewer into a true societal melting pot. At first glance his approach induces laughter, however on a subtextual level the mood darkens to the point where viewers might find themselves questioning their own identity. 2Fik intends a playful, yet powerful approach as he attempts to achieve a social reflection. The approach is intended 2Fik playful, but powerful in the sub-text to achieve a social reflection. Stereotypes encourage viewers to discuss the idea of universality, because in the stories everyone can recognize a part of themselves. 2Fik's photographs transport us into a true melding of society.
The French House
Washington DC, USA
The Invisible Dog
New York City, USA
Age: 22 years old. She was born in Agz, a little village of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. She lived there until she was 15. Then she decided to go down to Agadir, where she studied science and lived with her aunt.
Work: Fatima had just finished her undergraduate studies in science at Agadir’s Ibn Zohr University when she was obliged to leave Morocco. Two years earlier, she had married a guy from Casablanca who left for Quebec. The long process to get a permanent resident card allowed her to finish her studies. Abdel, her husband, doesn’t really care about her professional career. After two years he brought her to be with him to Quebec.
Love status: Fatima has had no other man in her life than Abdel. He’s her one and only lover. Fatima’s upbringing and culture help her to sincerely believe Abdel is good for her and that she’s perfectly happy with him.
Ambitions: At the moment, Fatima isn’t using the knowledge she learned at university. Instead of working in science, she’s a multi-tasking assistant for Alice in a fashion agency. She’s also a nanny for Benjamin when Manon, is busy. Fatima’s best friends are Alice, Manon and Francine.
Personality: Fatima was raised to be a mother, not a woman. She’s intelligent but naïve and curious. Even though she’s shy, she’s evolving as a woman! Her dream to become a mother is fulfilled by Benjamin, who is kissed and hugged every minute. Since she’s lived in Montreal, Fatima has started to observe other forms of relationships, femininity and self-worth and is now interested in feminism and fashion. These subjects are a paradox in her own culture: she questions herself a lot about why she’s so attracted to them.
Observable traits: She wears a veil and her eyes are gleaming with curiosity and excitement.
Age: Abdel is 30 years old. He was born in Aïn Chock, a middle-class neighborhood of Casablanca, and decided to leave for Québec when he was 21.
Work: He works as a property manager. He’s not getting rich but Fatima helps him to believe that his life is not a total mess. He’s not really passionate about his job and he’s starting to think that the culture here is a bit too trashy and the women are way too vulgar and talkative. He lets Fatima work for Alice because he thinks he doesn’t earn enough money.
Love status: He got married to Fatima at 26 in order to please his family. He wasn’t really into her in the beginning but with time she became a sort of moral guide for him. He’s not really a gentleman with her and doesn’t express his feelings toward her. Fatima is his religious and cultural pride.
Ambitions: Abdel is definitely disappointed by the turn that his life has taken. He has a low-paying job and he’s married to a woman he likes but doesn’t love. He feels lonely so he has turned to religion to help him out. But Islam has become more and more strict and his practice is now hypocritical. After he goes to pray on Friday morning, he gets drunk in the afternoon. For Abdel, life is about appearances: Islam has become more a social identity than a religion.
Personality: Abdel is a manipulative person. He feels superior to most people in Montreal and his charm and masculinity allow him to achieve his goals. His friends are mostly the guys from his neighborhood mosque and, even though he doesn’t like them, Alice and Manon, who are very close to Fatima.
Observable traits: Abdel always has a beard, which is usually groomed and short. He also has a macho attitude.
Age: Alice is 29. She's the daughter of a Maronite Lebanese man and a French amateur painter. She grew up in the 6th arrondissement in Paris. Before coming to Montreal, she spent her whole life in Europe, traveling from France to Lebanon and passing through the UK, Italy and Switzerland.
Work: When she lived in France, Alice was an artistic consultant in a fashion agency. So she traveled a lot and she knows the airports of the world inside out. Today she’s the proud general manager of the Montreal branch of her Paris agency. The Montreal agency has been open for two years and it’s a huge success.
Love status: Alice is a man-eater. She’s perfectly happy being single and she has many lovers. Recently, Alice left a powerful businessman for a young DJ from Shawinigan. She loves to be in control of her life and most men find her irresistible.
Ambitions: Alice’s best friend, Marco, is her hidden shameful fantasy. She’s sure she’ll be able to make out with him and turn him away from homosexuality. Alice also wants to Westernize Fatima and make her a more naive and simple version of herself.
Personality: She’s a very independent woman, she’s talkative and she loves fashion. But she’s also sincere, and she has a fragile side, too, because of all the stress in her life. She’s the sort of fun boss that everyone wants as a friend, a tad too impatient and doesn’t realize that her life is really privileged. Her friends are very different: simple women like Fatima and Manon, as well as the crème de la crème of Montreal’s underground scene.
Observable traits: She always has a structural haircut. Her lips are usually extra glossed and she exudes grace and femininity. She has a metabolism that lets her eat like a horse and still have the shape of a model.
Age: This 29-year-old woman was born and raised in Rouyn-Noranda. She’s what we can call 100% Québécois.
Work: She’s been working as a graphic designer in Alice’s agency since its opening.
Love status: Manon is an ashamed single woman and a proud single mother. She secretly dreams that the father of her son will come back to her. It’s been eleven years that she’s been waiting...
Ambitions: She aims to have the same quality of life as Alice but she knows that she’ll never be able to. The stress, the daily rhythm and all the gossip about Alice deeply scares her. On the other hand, she loves the arts and she wants Fatima to share this passion with her. She doesn’t miss a chance to show Fatima a new photographer, talk about the latest music show in town, etc.
Personality: She’s a happy, independent and courageous woman who lives, breathes and works for the well-being of her son Benjamin. Socially, she’s more of a follower than a leader and she has an über-hippie-kitsh style. Manon intellectualizes creative expression as a way to exorcize her fears and fuel her inner needs. But apart from that, her only focus is Benjamin.
Observable traits: Manon has natural burgundy hair but changes often the style : short, long, dreadlocked. She loves to change everything about her hair but the color. Her weirdly funny fashion sense is a good way to recognize her too.
Age: An 11-year-old boy who was "conceived" during a philosophy class. His mother, Manon, was bonding with her Arab classmate. Benjamin is the result of this young and spontaneous love.
Work: Benjamin is a kid. He spends his days at l'École Française of Montreal. On Wednesday afternoon, he has classes in English and urban dance. On Saturday morning, he studies Arabic and painting.
Love status: Surrounded by women, he has enough love to deal with.
Ambitions: Benjamin is a very active boy, bordering on hyperactive. Curious and very well educated, he receives informal lessons in life from Fatima, who spends a lot of time with him. He's now in a period when he only reads Japanese mangas created between 1975 and 1995.
Personality: At his age, he thinks that everybody is his friend, including Jean Coutu.
Observable traits: He has big teeth and a cute little face that you want to pinch.
Age: Marco is a 31-year-old Italian-Moroccan stud. He was born in Rome and lived for several years in Marrakech. He went to live in Paris at 18 and arrived in Montreal four years ago.
Work: He was a style scout at a fashion agency in Paris. When Alice discovered him, she invited him to work for her.
Love status: Marco is a closeted homosexual. He's straight-acting and uses Alice as cover. Everybody in the fashion world thinks that they're a couple but Marco secretly has a crush on Abdel, who's the perfect dominant, masculine man for him.
Ambitions: He aims to take a greater part in Alice's agency. Marco wants to find a way to live his life better than he does now. He also feels like being a part of a secret gang who mug homophobic straight people: a way to fight his own homophobic tendency.
Personality: He has a little schizophrenic tendency. Manichean, stubborn and quite macho, he's also able to accept a little part of his femininity.
Observable traits: Marco has a typical Latin-lover face, a cute moustache and a perfectly shaped goatee.
Age: This 22-year-old is Abdel's younger brother who decided to come to Quebec. He's been here for six months and lives with Fatima and Abdel in their small apartment.
Work: He's looking for any type of job that will allow him to earn enough money to work on his hip-hop album. He wants to be a big star.
Love status: Sofiane is in love with all the girls he meets. He's a player: a single man who doesn't believe at all in marriage. A female could be a huge problem for his carpe diem lifestyle.
Ambitions: He's so sure that he has the creativity to become a star that he's convinced that some producers will find him when he's doing his rap battle with his friends in the community center. He's not really ambitious but he plays the role.
Personality: Way too selfish, Sofiane lives his life a 100% and minute by minute, not even day by day. He is proud and assumes every inch of himself. He's from the new generation that refuses religious or cultural labels: he sees himself as a citizen of the world.
Observable traits: His friends call him "So Fine" because of his well-groomed beard and his urban-twisted style. He's the only one who can rock a Sponge Bob t-shirt and still look masculine.
Age: Francine is 33 and she's an anglophone from Winnipeg. She has also lived in Sudbury and Toronto.
Work: She has lived in Montreal for three years now and is doing her best to learn French. She works for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety as a security and health product manager.
Love status: She got married last year to a clerk from the Development, Planning and Heritage service of the City of Montreal.
Ambitions: Francine is satisfied with her job and her husband and she hopes to keep both of them. Francine loves TV and she's a fan of Martha Stewart (specially after her prison episode) and she does her best to understand Islamic culture through Fatima.
Personality: Francine is a genuinely sweet woman who believes that aggressive behavior is just the result of a misunderstanding between human beings. On the other hand, being the only girl in a family of eight kids made her quite strong and determined.
Observable traits: Her red hair and her simple classic style make her quite recognizable.
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