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The Machinery

© Mounir Fatmi / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

The Machinery

Artist: Mounir Fatmi (Born in Tangier, Morocco, 1970)
Date: 2010
Medium: 30 hand-painted steel saw blades
Edition: 5
Classification: Installation
Credit Line: Gift of Blake Byrne, A.B.’57
Label Text:The Machinery forms part of a series of works by Mounir Fatmi utilizing steel saw blades and Arabic script. The sharp machinery symbolically contrasts with the lyrical calligraphy containing repeated messages of the Islamic faith. For example, the text from one blade comes from the Hadith, which includes actions or sayings by the Prophet Muhammad. It reads: “God is beautiful and loves beauty." Another blade contains a line from the Qur’an (the most sacred text of Islam, compiled (609 – 632 CE), chapter 39, verse 9: “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?”

The blades, placed like cogs in a machine, lie too far apart to function. In this way, Fatmi offers a complex examination of ancient and modern modes of production, and the power of language, religion, industry, and politics in a contemporary global society.

Provenance: Blake purchased the Fatmi through a Christie’s Dubai sale: 25 October, 2011, Lot 29 (Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art Part I). It came to Christie’s from a private European collection. Here is the link: https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/installations-video-art/mounir-fatmi-the-machinery-5486457-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intobjectid=5486457&sid=2ac8e513-a8eb-4b1c-8159-2cb7e96ccce7
Object number: 2018.12.1