Syrinx (Plumber Assemblage), 2015 - 2017

Miami Beach 2017
Sfeir-Semler Gallery
Mixed media, metal pipes, faucets, and spigots
Yto Barrada’s work – ranging from photographs, films, publications, installations, and sculptures – engages with the peculiar situation of her hometown, Tangier. Barrada also explores the real/fake binary along with the fetishization of foreign objects, forcing us to question the ways in which museums confer value. Syrinx (Plumber Assemblage), for which Barrada acquired the parts in the Grand Socco Square of Tangier, falls within this line of questioning. Here, bricolages wrought from plumbing elements (including pipes, faucets, and spigots), used by out-of-work plumbers to signal their availability for hire, serve as a public display of the city’s struggling workers. The sculpture is a labyrinth of pipes advertising the plumber’s skill yet the results are futile, repurposing the material as an aesthetic conveyance of potential.