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Soufiane Ababri at Praz-Delavallade


In Soufiane Ababri’s solo show “Bunch of Queequeg,” the Moroccan-born artist imagines himself as the “Moby Dick” character Queequeg, who engages in a coded tryst with the book’s protagonist, Ishmael. In “Bedwork,” Ababri draws his self portrait as asleep and nude in the center of the work while an aroused white onlooker stares on. Other works in the exhibition similarly frame the exocitication of men of color within a European colonial framework. 

In several pieces, the topic becomes even more taboo as cannibalism is introduced into bedroom scenes. One drawing, for example, shows Jeffrey Dahmer eating a darker-skinned buttox. But Ababri’s cannibalism isn’t always a violent depiction. As the press release states, “Cannibalism, therefore, can be a kind of creative destruction. An act of devotion, also. For to eat something is to love it to death.”

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Photo: Soufiane Ababri at Praz-Delavallade (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Praz-Delavallade.