Bouazizi (2012)

1246This artwork is a collective collaboration with a group of eight women from Farkha‭*, ‬it consists of nine embroidered portraits of Mohamad Bouazizi‭ – ‬A Tunisian vendor who set himself on fire in December 2010‭, ‬his act became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring‭. ‬Each participant embroidered one portrait‭, ‬the embroideries in terms of colours and size reference Andy Warhol’s silkscreen prints of Marilyn Monroe and other pop stars‭. ‬

Bouazizi’s image quickly became an icon‭, ‬a‭ ‬“Pop”‭ ‬star in the Arab world‭. ‬His performance of self-immolation in public space is juxtaposed in this work with cross-stitching‭. ‬Exchanging mass production of the image‭ (‬silkscreen printing‭) ‬with embroidery as an autonomous performance in private space‭, ‬an attempt to investigate the creation of the paradoxical‭ ‬“pop”‭ ‬star‭. ‬The repercussions of the act of self-immolation instigated a new approach to martyrdom and propelled a discussion on religious‭, ‬political‭, ‬and social levels‭. ‬

IMG_0865

Bouazizi (2012)

On the opening night of the exhibition‭** ‬featuring this work a group of unannounced men walked into the exhibition space and prayed next to the installation of the embroideries‭. ‬The reason behind using the space for prayer is still unknown‭, ‬but their performance next to the artwork that was videotaped using a mobile phone added another layer to the work‭.‬

‭ ‬

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.06.47 PM

still from video , Bouazizi 2012

Dimensions‭: ‬

35‭ ‬cm width‭ / ‬50‭ ‬cm height‭ ‬

9‭ ‬embroideries‭ ‬

‭*‬Farkha‭: ‬a Palestinian village located in the Salfit Governorate in the northern West Bank‭. ‬

‭** ‬YAYA 2012‭: ‬The Young Artist of the Year Award 2012‭, ‬exhibition at Franco-German Cultural Center in Ramallah‭, ‬West Bank‭.‬

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