Sex, desires and politics: such were the pillars of a moral revolution which, in the 1970s, would connect the body live to the social issue. In challenging the virile image of the virtuoso demiurge artist, Soufiane Ababri’s minority forms update the spirit, in a gentle form of critical «intersectionality,» which jointly addresses post-colonial, queer and, in the broad sense, counter-cultural matters. it is not the intent of this contextual work to talk about and broach these questions head-on, preferring to propose a set of signs for them.
Because the history of universal domination often leaves clandestine marks on reality, the artist will re-insert other marks in this flux. The chosen means are deliberately rudimentary: appropriations, re-framed and hijacked images found on the internet, drawings (Bed works executed in a prone position) and performances made for photographs. Transitive gestures rather than definite positions. Well below the ethereal spheres of transcendent inspiration, Soufiane Ababri’s art has both feet in reality: non-heroic snapshots of life rub shoulders with referents to art and film history, in a kind of amateur date base shared live.
Non-heroic visions, to be sure, but not non-erotic. His renderings of observations are invariably discreetly transformed by fantasy and desire, as if he were contrasting a trivialization of sex with a sexualization of triviality. in a deeper sense, this de-hierarchization of subjects and styles alike points to a strategy of struggle against normative violence by way of alternative labour economies. An intimate scale of the political that links up with Erin Manning’s(1) theories to do with the «minor gesture»: in praise of the minor, imperceptible and apparently derisory movement, which results neither from voluntarism nor totally from chance, nor really from intention or reflex, or a bit of all the above, but ending up by being the person who determines history.
(1) - Erin Manning, The Minor Gesture, Duke University Press,2016
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