Art UNLIMITED, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland
13 Jun to 16 Jun, 2019
THE SAFE by Abdulnasser Gharem:
A sound-proof padded cell as to be found in psychiatric wards or gaols for violent inmates will be erected to measure 6 x 4 x 4 metres. The walls are rubberised. This material corresponds to Gharem’s artistic procedure, in which rubber stamps are at once subjects of and material for his art, brimming with hidden messages arranged back-to-front as they would be on a stamp. Inside the cell, we hear classical music playing softly. It is impossible to evade the sense of claustrophobic oppression, the distress and powerlessness. With the prepared stamps put at their disposal on the autopsy table, visitors, ushered in by guards at roughly one-minute intervals, can leave their ‘imprint’ on the wall provided for that purpose or inscribe a hand-written statement on it. The stamps are pre-prepared with terms originating from politics and historical epics of violence.