Tala Madani | UnderMan

Tala Madani, UnderMan. 0:23

The work shows a Man (UnderMan) sitting by what looks like a printer nozzle Wall. Objects will start dropping on him, showing two men (AboveMen) on top of the wall throwing objects on him. The AboveMen do this with freakish excitement. The objects fail however to truly put him down. UnderMan, tired of the objects’ failure, has become inspired by the AboveMen, gets a large hammer and hammers himself down into the ground, successfully buries himself.

A sense of futility, pervasive in Madani’s work, is made explicit in this short animation  through the circuitous iteration of graphic violence. As curator Natalie Musteata noted in her essay for the apexart’s exhibition titled Unrest: Revolt against Reason, “Madani’s use of humor acts as a strategy of rupture that simultaneously liberates, questions, and reveals. Humor is instrumental in protest, as it disrupts the existing order of things. As observed in Unrest, “Appropriating the art of the trickster, Madani offers resistance to dominant ideologies. Her darkly playful scenarios feature Middle Eastern men playing out fictive and deviant rituals, which satirize the religious fundamentalism and sexism – especially machismo – still pervasive in contemporary society.”

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