Elhem Younes

Elhem Younes is a Tunisian-born visual artist based in Paris. With a background in Aesthetics, Science, and Arts Technologies, she explores the construction of meaning and perception in the digital age. Her immersive artworks, inspired by altered states of consciousness, prompt introspection on issues such as free will, memory, and interpersonal relationships. Through serendipity and aesthetic indeterminacy, she creates dreamlike experiences. Embracing « viscerality, » her work captures the complexities of human interiority and the fragility of existence.Elhem Younes employs technology thoughtfully as a means of artistic expression, deepening the exploration of her vision.

The artist’s statement

As a visual artist practicing plastic and media arts, I develop a reflexive approach to my artistic work by questioning the modalities of constructing meaning, perception, and imagination that underlie our relationship to the world, particularly in the era of new technologies.

Through the study of altered states of consciousness, I seek to offer visitors immersive experiences, enabling them to become aware of their inner representations related to issues such as free will, determinism, individual and collective destiny, memory, and our relationships with others, as well as what unites us on an unconscious level of the psyche.

The fragility of the perceptual experience and the instability of our presence in the world are dimensions of life that I question and express through my artistic and literary practice.

As far as my creative process is concerned, even if it is built on study and analysis, it is still governed by serendipity and by a form of aesthetic indeterminacy that stems from the processes that express it. It is the vector of the dreamlike power of images in my work. 

Within my creative process, I embrace what I call viscerality. Unpleasantness, ugliness, and even disturbance and repulsiveness are qualities and emotions that might emerge from it, not without a sense of beauty. The indiscernibility of my work has always been a natural and essential aspect flowing from my endeavor to encompass the psyche and the realm of imagination, as well as the very foundation of our individual identities within a unique cultural context and a vast, intricate world. 

Regardless of the medium of artistic expression employed, I create spaces that foster introspection and self-reflection.

Given that meaning is my primary concern, I am driven by a sense of coherence and obsessed with authenticity. I firmly believe that art creation in all its forms is more than a mere collection of special effects. 

Moreover, it is important for me to stress that technology serves as a means to express the complexity of my vision and is not an end in itself. More generally, as a researcher, I deeply contemplate the significance of the technology and the types of interactions employed in my or other people’s work, considering their potential impact on the initial artistic intention. I reflect on how they serve an artistic vision and how they may distort or betray it on different levels, including social, political, and moral dimensions.