Oussama Tabti playfully alludes to the debates around identity politics and the public sphere with the installation Parlophones. The audio installation explores the metaphor of the doorbell as a complex code for the relationship between location and identity in the era of mass migration and late capitalism. In Sweet Home, migrant workers share stories in audio and drawings about the living conditions and housing they ended up in France.
Brussels’ cityscape reveals a mix of languages, cultures and people. Its Art Nouveau buildings sit cheek by jowl with graceless office blocks. Belgium’s famous political disorganization has an analogue in the capital’s chaotic, fraying street plan. When zoomed in upon, these streets reveal yet another reflection of Brussels’ disarray: a bricolage of name tags and coordinates, doorbells of all sorts affixed to and dangling from the city’s houses. The doorbells mark not only its corresponding inhabitants, but also lend the latter a status within the Belgian social system, an administrative locus from which they can partake in the country’s social system. Each one of them withholds an intimate story, a tale of how its owner reached the country and made it its own – from refugees and migrants to expats and those gone astray. These are the lives and voices that populate Parlophones, a poignant, solemn and utterly intimate sound installation. Parlophones' collection of doorbells invites its public to press their button and listen to the stories of those who arrived in Brussels and made it their home.
About Oussama Tabti
Oussama Tabti, born in Algeria in 1988, is a visual artist living and working in Brussels. He graduated from the Higher School of Fine Arts in Algiers in 2012, from the art school in Aix-en-Provence in 2017 and from the Higher Institute for Fine Arts HISK in Ghent in 2020. His work interrogates a hermetically sealed geopolitics that consists of closed borders and inward-looking cultures. In his own way, Tabti captures the complexity of moving around a world that may be globalized, but that is also suspicious,
afraid of 'strangers'; and of difference. His work has been exhibited at festivals and in museums and galleries including the Dakar Biennale, Salon de Montrouge, Centrale for contemporary art in Brussels, the Contemporary Art Museum in Bordeaux, Museo Riso in Palermo, Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin, and is included in various collections such as those of the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, the Centre National des Arts Plastique CNAP and M HKA Museum for Contemporary Art Antwerp.
During Oorzaken Festival (1 June till 4 June):
Thursday, June 1: 19:00 - 23:00
Friday 2 June: 08:30 - 23:30
Saturday 3 June: 10:30 - 00:00
Sunday 4 June: 10:30 - 18:00
The installation can still be visited after Oorzaken Festival until 19 June (with the exception of sunday 18 june). Every day from 12:00 to 18:00 and around exhibitions.