Younes Baba Ali

Born in 1986, in Oujda, Morocco. Lives and works in Bruxelles, Belgium.

Graduating from the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg in 2008, and from l’Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence in 2011, he has participated in several international exhibitions and biennials. Among them, “Dak’Art“ 10th Biennial of Dakar (Sn); “Higher Atlas“ 4th Biennial of Marrakech (Ma); the “BJCEM“ Biennial, Thessaloniki (Gr); “WRO 09“ New Media Art Biennial, Wroclaw (Pl); “Sketch Gallery“, London (Uk); “Regionale 12“ Haus für elektronische Künste, Basel (Ch); “Brick & Mortar International Video Art Festival“, Greenfield (Usa); “Loop“ Video Art Festival, Barcelona (Es); “CEAAC“, Strasbourg (Fr); “Arte Contemporanea Gallery“, Brussels (Be); “Appartement 22“, Rabat (Ma); “Galerie Aperto”, Montpellier (Fr); and in “Sabrina Amrani Art Gallery“, Madrid (Es).

Baba Ali’s practice is diverse. It goes over categorisations’ endeavours and takes roots in various mediums ranging from the new technologies, to sound, video, photography and installation. Though a skilled user of all them, Baba Ali does not aim at emphasizing multimedia and technologies of information and communication, and/or at feeding the kind of blind admiration that justifies technique as a goal in and by itself. Conversely, his works seem to deal with unremitting exhaustion attempts that almost remind of a war, or guerrilla, strategy: “in order to undermine a system, it is first necessary to penetrate it”. Thus, as an artist/engineer, Baba Ali masters the potentialities the technology era offers as an attempt to understand its complexity. At the same time, he subtly and often ironically interrogates the mechanisms of contemporary society while shedding light on its dysfunctions.
By implicitly approaching urgent issues such as the effects of the “Society of the Spectacle”, the question of multicultural identities and religious clashes, the over-production and waste of whatever goods (from communication to plastic bags), the artist appropriates and interrogates the features and the tools of the present, globalised and rhizome-like, humans. In between amusement and consternation, his multi-faceted, though coherent, work confronts the viewer with a permanent show about the thin divide (or the irreducible coexistence) between intelligence and chaos.

Call for Prayer – Morse is a sound installation consisting of a megaphone which broadcasts the Muslim call to prayer in morse code. This call can be heard five times a day at precise times depending on the geographic location. It evokes the close relationship between religious practice and the absence of spiritual experience. The morse translation makes it an alert signal against the dangers of profetizing. It warns against rigorous religious and moral behavior in order to live a free religious and/or spiritual life. Therefore the intention is to make prayer a free choice instead of an obligation.

This entry was published on August 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm and is filed under Artist, Visual Arts. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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