(...) Algeria-born artist Massinissa Selmani, tells Outlook when there is a situation of violence and oppression, absurdity can be used in art to show its ridiculousness.
Through a set of drawings, random figures, and short animations on a loop, Massinissa Selmani teases and provokes us, triggering our imagination. As if he almost wants us to solve a puzzle but through our own reading and context. His ambiguous drawings, some even mimicking cartoons and inspired by, among many things newspaper clippings, showcase the art of absurdism to create situations that are unlikely to happen. But seem so familiar. These improbable assemblages add a comic element to tragic situations of political and social life.
The Algeria-born artist Massinissa Selmani, whose work features at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2022, speaks to Outlook on the messages behind his ‘absurd’ work and experimental drawings in which he showcases violence, conflict, and the media.
Your work seems politically rooted to me. There was a lot of messaging in it. You have added this element of nonchalance to the drawings but they seem to narrate rather serious issues. Is there any political philosophy behind your work? (...)
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13 March 2023