Younès Rahmoun’s videos, installations, and performances demonstrate his search for identity. His art is rooted in Islam and is highly influenced by Sufi thought and practice. As a child, Rahmoun fantasized about exploring the world and discovering a utopia-like land. After traveling outside of Morocco in 1997, however, he concluded that his search for identity was actually an internal, spiritual quest. 1 A devout Muslim, the artist was born in Tétouan, Morocco in 1975. In 1994, he received a degree in Fine Arts in Tangier from the Lycée Technique Moulay Youssef and, in 1998, earned a diploma from the Institut Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Tétouan, where he later became an instructor.
Through his creative process, Rahmoun tries to “give shape or to visualize invisible things, intangible things like faith, the soul, the spirit, the awakening.” 2 Returning home is a prominent theme in his videos and installations; 3 however, home isn’t necessarily a physical place for him, but instead a metaphorical space located within his soul. Islamic faith plays a vital role in Rahmoun’s quest, shaping his artistic process and aiding him in finding his internal harmony. 4
Habba, which means “seed” in Arabic, is a seven- minute, color animation video exploring growth, religion, and the cycle of life. Intended as an object of meditation, the video begins with the appearance of a seed and the emergence of meditative music associated with religious ceremonies. After the seed discovers an ideal place to grow, a green ring, representing life and faith, radiates from the seed and illuminates the picture space. 5 As the video progresses and the soothing sounds intensify, the seed blossoms into a tree. Finally, the mature tree produces seeds, and the video culminates in an image of a new seed preparing to repeat the cycle. While the video depicts the artist’s personal journey, it also encourages the audience to consider a more universal message of self-expression.