Several prayer rugs used by Muslims during the Islamic prayers have been deconstructed by Moroccan-born artist Mounir Fatmi to create artistic skateboards.
Mounir Fatmi was born in Tangier, Morocco in 1970. He lives and works between Paris and Tangier. The multimedia artist mainly constructs visual spaces and linguistic games. Most of his works deal with the desecration of religious object, deconstruction and the end of dogmas and ideologies. He is particularly interested in the idea of death of the subject of consumption. He became notorious as a member of a generation of Arab artists exploring the codes of conceptual art to question contemporary cultural identity and solo exhibitions of his work have been shown all over the world, and he has participated in numerous major group exhibitions – including, most recently, the 6th Quebec city biennial and the 54th Venice art biennale.
The skateboards adorned with rugs were presented during the UNTITLED art fair in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach, where ADN Galeria presented Fatmi’s recent work, which deals with the desecration of religious objects and, in turn, the end of dogmas and ideologies. Skateboards strewn around the exhibition space have been clad in richly-colored and ornately patterned fabrics, giving an alternative meaning to the original intentions of both of the familiar objects.
The beautifully embellished mats gave a luxurious or ornate quality to the boards, perhaps transferring the spirituality we would normally associate with prayer instead to the practice of skating.
Like religion, skateboarding has over it’s time in popular culture gone from fringe movement, to a big commercial industry, and back again, with those passionate about skating trying to find a healthy balance between the two. This is perhaps why Mounir selected skating, as it reflects in many ways the extremes of how people can interact with religion, such as Islam.
Deeper meanings aside, the boards are wonderful to look at, and act as an opulent alternative to some of the more beaten up ones you may be more likely to see in your local skate park.
See more artistic works HERE!