“The Mucem represents the civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. I am at the crossroads between them, so it really spoke to me. I just couldn’t decline the invitation. I once a painted a small wall in L’Estaque, near Marseille, in 2013. I had written “link” in Arabic (referring to the link between Europe and Africa), because that was the thought that Marseille inspired in me. I wanted to leave my mark here. In fact, I had already been imagining what I wanted to do. I had been thinking for a while about the sculpture installed at the Mucem and asking myself where else I could build a sculpture made of soap, other than in Marseille? One thing led to another, and so it happened. Doing this project at the Mucem was the logical choice, because it is at the crossroads between the several worlds in which I live.
I usually paint murals, but I’m also trying to do new things. For example, I am sculpting: one of my sculptures is at the Mucem. It’s made of soap and has been chipped away. I enjoy creating ephemeral pieces, to really stay within the spirit of street art and other forms of art in public spaces, where the work belongs to the public and so can be destroyed, vandalized or covered up.
For the soap sculpture at the Mucem, I found a quotation from Jean-Claude Izzo in Total Chaos, where he wrote that “Marseille belongs to those who live there”. He also said that we all leave Marseille with something, so to me, this sculpture is a symbolic depiction of the city. I wanted people to take a piece away with them.
The fresco was much more spontaneous. I chose the colour at the last second. I had a phrase in mind and everyone was done in the moment at the Centre for Conservation and Resources (CCR), with no initial sketches. I feel very connected to history and keep lots of things like letters, drawings, and so on, because they all represent memories that hold a lot of value for me, so painting the CCR’s wall had real meaning. The wall wasn’t clean; it had a history. I liked that.”