The sound piece presented here, L’entresol (The Mezzanine), is a metaphor of the artist’s relation to his homeland, Morocco, and to the land where he grew up, France, an imaginary passage between Marseille and Tangiers, two gateways to two cultures that are both close and far apart. The idea, says the artist, is to “confront these two sonic environments, one linked to French popular culture, the other to Islamic culture, in the same space-time. L’entresol (The Mezzanine) is a soundscape, I would even say a mental landscape, emanating from my situation of having lived and grown up between two cultures, two educations, where elements of sound soothed and nourished me. To me, these two cities, these two lands are part of me, of my wandering, my inspirations, I cannot tell them apart.”
Born in 1986 in Oujda, Morocco, Younes Baba Ali lives and works in Brussels and Casablanca. Younes Baba Ali makes art that is unconventional, intelligent and critical, mostly in public space or places uncommon to art practice. He is a sharp observer and raises pertinent questions aimed at society, the institution and above all, his audience. As a free thinker he holds a mirror up to society and confronts it with its ingrained habits and dysfunctions. Baba Ali’s work often assumes the form of the readymade, but underneath its facade of simplicity there is a complex exercise in balance at work. As an artist-alchemist he measures and mixes technology, objects, sound, video and photography with political, social and ecological issues. The resulting installations discreetly coerce the unsuspecting viewer into taking a stand. Baba Ali presents people dilemmas and taboos and challenges them to (re)act. In this way he makes them his accomplices in acts of artistic guerrilla that unite the establishment and the common man.