Pour Safaa Erruas, «l’atelier n’est pas une seconde maison, c’est une part de moi». Le sien est logé au cœur du quartier Ensanche de Tétouan, sa ville natale où elle a choisi de rester après ses études à l’Institut national des Beaux-Arts (INBA). L’artiste, qui célèbre ses vingt ans de carrière avec une monographie et une exposition à la galerie L’Atelier 21 à Casablanca, toutes deux intitulées «Le temps parcouru», nous a reçu dans son atelier pour évoquer son parcours.
In 1998 Safaa Erruas (b. 1976) graduated from the city’s Natio- nal Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), which was at the time under the directorship of modernist pioneer Mohamed Chebâa (1993-1998), who created a tug-of-war between the school’s established academicism and its avant-garde potential. In 1993, under the direction of Morocco’s Ministry of Culture, the school rebranded itself as an institute, appointed Chabâa as director, and received a host of new students and instruc- tors. Additionally, the INBA restructured its curriculum, the- reby introducing courses in semiology, philosophy, sociology, contemporary art, and avant-garde practices, as opposed to traditional modes of artistic production such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. It was in the same year that pioneering artist Faouzi Laatiris founded his volume and installation stu- dio at the institution, ushering in a new medium of art making. Erruas and her peers at the INBA, such as Younès Rahmoun (b. 1975), went on assignments outside of the classroom and into the public space. Students were encouraged to use everyday objects in their work, thereby blurring the lines between art and life. As a student at the INBA, Erruas shared a studio in her final year with Rahmoun. Together they created an orderly, spotless space for creation and experimentation.