Salim Bayri's work relates to identity and culture, in which he seeks a personal freedom in a humorous way. Instead of engaging in political conflicts, he prefers to scan codes and customs that he encounters. He does that without making a judgment.
When communicating via Instagram, Facebook or WhatsApp, often very quickly drawn ideograms are inserted by him to explain the topic of conversation. For him, the virtual world is as concrete as the analogue.
In the first solo exhibition called 'Sad Ali mapping the place' in Galerie van Gelder in 2018, Salim Bayri showed his works while he talks on a TV screen about what strikes him in the world in which he ended up. In his youth he became acquainted with a Moroccan mix of cultures: "It's about a Berber population with an Arab culture and a Spanish and French colonial influence, the whole thing painted with a Muslim coat while Unilever shampoo is sold in the market on the back of a donkey. Past and present are superposed."
A large digital print (300 x 470 cm) with an AR extension depicts his alter ego Sad Ali in a reclined position. A tattoo on his leg says: ‘Noku, is this about colonialism?’, while Sad Ali lies in a landscape in which an object in the sky is a real Moroccan round bread. This canvas does not really have a political meaning, nevertheless it raises questions about what we see in the daily news about emigration mixed with images from a culture of the Maghreb e.g. where he grew up.
Salim Bayri (born in 1992, Casablanca) graduated from the Escola Massana in Barcelona. In 2017 he obtained a Masters degree at Art, Design and Technology from the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen. Together with his brother Tayeb Bayri he plays in a duo-band Bazoga (soundcloud.com/bazoga) that performed in Paris, Berlin, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Barcelona.
Salim Bayri was nominated for the 2018 NN Award in 2018, together with Rafaël Rozendaal, Sam Samiee and winner Pauline Curnier Jardin. From January 2019 he has a residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.