For the very first time, 1-54 Marrakech is presenting three outdoor installations in the magnificent backdrop of La Mamounia: Welcome 2, by Yamou (L’Atelier 21); Stockholm Syndrome, by Soukaïna Aziz El Idrissi (VOICE gallery) and The Mac Gate, by Moataz Nasr (VOICE gallery).
Welcome 2, by Yamou
Welcome 2 is a sculpture that looks at recent migratory flows, capturing their complexities, dramas and absurdities. This ‘afunctional’ chair is decorated with nails to punctuate their inability to meet its primary function: to sit. The nails transform a previously accommodating tool for rest into a hostile land, where the twisted shapes emerge out of the base, making these chairs impractical.
Yamou, through the universality of his work, offers a critique of the fast-paced nature of contemporary social exchanges.
Stockholm Syndrome, by Soukaïna Aziz El Idrissi
Plastic is ranked among the five most important chemical achievements in terms of improving our quality of life. There is no human activity that spares this material.
Plastic, like the atomic bomb comes with just as much good as it does bad.
The research on which the atomic bomb was conceived – the separation of an atom into two (!!!!) – catapulted the understanding of all that surrounds us. Unfortunately, we are all too aware of the consequences of this extraordinary discovery. Though sometimes I wonder if we are truly aware or if we’ve simply normalised the abuse perpetuated. The accumulation of all these plastic based products has proven to be catastrophic. And yet, here we are continuously accumulating this gloriously deadly material. Here we are hopelessly devoted to this absurd narrative of modernity. Here we are getting our shirts ironed at unbeatable rates. Rates that come wrapped in the softest silkiest warmest suffocating sheets of lovely clear shiny plastics. That shimmer at the slightest hint of light. Here we are blowing up tiny bombs, left right and centre.
The Mac Gate, by Moataz Nasr
The Mac Gates is multi-referential: first, with the universality of its shape, the McDonald’s arches and second, a symbol of an Americanisation and a global standardisation of the world, affecting the artists native Egypt but also Morocco in which the sculptures are currently exhibited. The Americanisation translates itself through a language issue. Speaking English becomes a trend, a way of dividing power statuses strongly within society: even traditional Egyptian shops have started to write their names in English. Moataz states his love for the Arabic language and for its capacity of diffusion in the Arab world.