Moussa Sarr is a performance and video artist whose work questions the intrinsic notions of human nature often through his impersonation of characters from the animal kingdom.
His canny portrayal of animals and insects is humourous and at the same time unnerving as he scratches beneath the skin to address issues of race and identity, challenging perceptions of gender, race and class stereotypes. The aggression and persistence with which he plays each character is confrontational and unforgiving, forcing the viewer to take a stand or retreat into the safe corner that nature and nuture has designated ‘the comfort zone’.
The three main characters in this installation, the bumblebee, the dung fly and the mosquito buzz around the gallery space, each fighting to be the centre of attention and attain the higher power. There is a continual and underlying threat of danger from all three predators.
Sarr’s work is rooted in art history in relation to video and performance art by using his physical presence to communicate cultural and political messages, captured on film, directly to camera. The existence of these performances in short films which can continually repeat in the gallery space gives emphasis to the issues he is raising without allowing the audience to ignore his direct and confrontational stance.
Born in 1984 in Ajaccio, Corsica, Moussa Sarr lives and works in Paris. He studied at the Fresnoy Studio national des arts contemporains, France. His practice incorporates video, sculptures and photography. Recent exhibitions include Fotomuseum Winthertur, Zurich, Palais de Tokyo, FIAC Paris, in the Cinéphémère program of the Ricard Foundation and the Boston French Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. His work is in important European video collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris, Collection François Pinault, Collection Yvon Lambert, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, and FRAC Paca.