Adel Abdessemed

‘Silent Warrior’, 2010
804 flat masks of recycled printed metal
29.2 × 20.3 cm (each mask)

Hundreds of masks of recycled metal are designed to be exhibited on the four walls of a gallery. They were made under Abdessemed’s guidance by craftsmen from Fez, Morocco, specialized in making toys and souvenirs from scrap metal. The masked faces of Silent Warrior evoke Mexican wrestlers for whom a mask is a key identifying feature of lucha libre (professional freestyle wrestling). The cumulative effect of all these threatening faces on the wall is striking, because the entire wall surface assumes a silent, dangerous, masked visage. The frontality of the colored elements comprising the work brings to the fore the power relationship that certain artworks entertain with the viewer.

Giovanni Careri