SOCIAL PAINTINGS, 2016
Can art hold up a mirror to society? Can artists con- front us with our ingrained habits and dysfunctions? Younes Baba-ali introduces familiar objects from the urban landscape to the exhibition space. Like an artistic guerrilla fighter, with an ironic knowingness, he holds up the viewer’s dilemmas and taboos and challenges them to react.
The work ‘Social Paintings’ is based on the illegal stands from which immigrants, in italy and elsewhere, sell their wares. Often they are made of cardboard and can be rapidly assembled or dismantled when the police arrive. they are ingenious objects, a metaphor for people living without legal status. On the wall of an art space they become a symbol of the “aesthetic of the precarious”, as the artist himself puts it.
Text by Antonia Alampi and iLiana Fokianaki