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Bab el oueb

2014 
Paper, El wire, synthetic grass, wood, metal,  audio
Size variable

About

Bab el oueb is an installation consisting of 26 white postcards hanging on a web of clotheslines made of blue neon. On each card is handwritten a new version of the first verses of Charles Baudelaire's poem, le Voyage, that the artist obtained by translating the original text from one language to another using Google translate. 

The poem starts in French and travels virtually around the world from one postcard to the other; stopping in 25 countries before returning to its point of origin. Over the translations, the text turns into a surrealist poem, breaking along the way all the links that would connect it to the original verses of Baudelaire. 

 

The title is a play on word that refers to the French popular phrase "ça se trouve à Bab el Oued" ("it is located at Bab el Oued") used to refer to a place very far away, in the middle of nowhere. By changing the last letter of "Oued" to "Oueb", the title when pronounced becomes homophone with "Babel Web". Like a tower of Babel of our times, this imaginary trip is a metaphor for the everlasting ambiguity of language and human exchanges in the Internet age.

 

Exhibition

2014    “Et Dieu créa l’@", Solo show, Galerie Propos d’Artistes, Paris, France