Appliqué Majdoub Flag
Abderrahman al-Majdoub was an oral poet from the sixteenth century, a landless peasant, a wanderer who made an impact on generations of people via quatrains that are full of irreverent wit and unexpected humor. Some of these, like proverbs, are still alive in Maghrebi collective memory. In 1976-77, Ahmed Bouanani translated about a hundred of them into French. The manuscript is still unpublished.
Using a selection of Majdoub’s quatrains as a starting point, Yto Barrada resumes the personal reflections she has been weaving on the invention of traditions, on authenticity and forgery. Working with the remains of old fabrics, she designed a series of flags, each of which borrows its motif and motto from a poem by Majdoub.
Yto Barrada borrows from the feminist tradition that consists in turning domestic tasks into subversive tools. Playfully practicing the modest activity of mending, she literally removes fabric from Moroccan bourgeois interiors in order to make these collaged flags that one would rather picture on a pirate’s raft than on a military ship. “Legendary poets shed their borders,” wrote Bouanani about Majdoub. -Omar Berrada