It's a brilliant sample of conceptual art that sees 50 skateboards carpeting the floor, each covered with a colorful patchwork collage pieced together from fragments of prayer rugs. Referring to the Muslim act of prayer and to skateboard culture, two divergent cultural practices whose reach has expanded well beyond their original roots, Maximum Sensation
examines the collision and coexistence of cultures that occur with greater frequency in this era of globalization. The piece, suggesting both cultural displacement and cultural hybridity, seems to reflect Fatmi's own experience as a Moroccan-born artist living in Paris. As he remarked in a recent interview, "I am Moroccan, Arab, Muslim geographically, Mediterranean, African," acknowledging that identity is a construct that shifts depending on context. Like Save Manhattan
, his much-admired piece in the 2007 Venice Biennale, which utilized stereo speakers to recreate the pre-September skyline of lower Manhattan, Maximum Sensation
employs the strategy of defamiliarization to challenge fixed points of view.
About Mounir Fatmi:
Born 1970, Tangier, Morocco; Lives and works in Paris, France.
Mounir Fatmi constructs visual spaces and linguistic games that aim to free the viewer from their preconceptions. His videos, installations, drawings, paintings and sculptures bring to light our doubts, fears and desires. They directly address the current events of our world, and speak to those whose lives are affected by specific events and reveals its structure.
His work deals with the desecration of religious object, deconstruction and the end of dogmas and ideologies. He is particularly interested in the idea of death of the subject of consumption. This can be applied to antenna cables, copier machines, VHS tapes, and a dead language or a political movement. Although aesthetically very appealing, Mounir Fatmi's work offers a look at the world from a different glance, refusing to be blinded by the conventions.
Mounir Fatmi's work has been exhibited in the Migros Museum für Gegenwarskunst, Zürich, Switzerland, the Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo Japan. He has participated in several biennials, among them the 52nd Venice Biennial, the 2nd Seville Biennial, Spain, the 8th biennial of Sharjah and the 10th Biennial of Lyon. Since 1993, he was awarded by several prize such as the Grand Prize at the 7th Dakar Biennial in 2006 and the Uriöt prize, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. He received the Cairo Biennial Prize in 2010.