UNTITLED KANAL, 2018

In situ installation

Variable dimension

Following Kanal’s invitation, Younes Baba-Ali proposed to create a site specific work that intertwines both the building’s history and future. Utilizing the factory’s former locker room, the artist reanimates its infrastructure by bringing its lockers to live. 

 

The lockers, that collectively remind us of the building’s history as a factory, appear to remain inert. However, their passivity appears to be nothing but a facade when some doors start to open ever so slowly, until, at a certain moment, the subtle shifting of the doors is disturbed by the gunmetal thump of slamming lockers. 

 

The visitor, who is accustomed to their inertia, is then forced to re-evaluate their purpose, now situa- ted in between the building’s history as a collective working space and its future as a museum, as a mausoleum, a place where objects are condemned to death and neutralized. 

 

By revolting, the lockers redeem their intrinsic value as hosts to years of intimate memories, as the guardians of workers’ identity and as sites of methamorphosis, from the anonimity of the worker to the exclusivity of the individual. At the same time, they take the place of the workers while also claiming their own individual existence, now bestowed with a soul of their own. 

Text by Aude Tournaye