48

– Autumn/Winter 2019

Babi Badalov’s Demodernisation

Anders Kreuger

Installation view, ‘Babi Badalov. For The Wall, For The World’, 2016, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Jérôme Poggi

I like to be nobody. You’re free when you’re nobody. I’m more touched by a film like Pasolini’s 1001 Nights than by my
own story
.

– Babi Badalov1

How does one write about a fellow human being who chooses a bare life over an embedded one – a fellow human being who negates neither body nor self, but who affirms the freedom and the unfreedom of not being somebody? How does one write about a fellow human being who claims no immediately decipherable position in a hierarchy, such as a family or a society of like-minded others, which in this case would be other poets who don’t see themselves as writers or other artists who make words because they can’t do otherwise? How does one write about a fellow human being who lives and creates, alone but not afraid, in the eye of the storm of modern life, forgoing even the spiritual rewards that others might have expected from such humble exposure to raw and conflicted reality? How, finally, does one write about a fellow human being who reaches out to us without demanding our interest or recognition in response?

Footnotes
  1. Conversation with the artist, 20 April 2019.

  2. See http://www.babibadalov.com (last accessed on 31 May 2019).

  3. See https://www.instagram.com/babibadalov (last accessed on 31 May 2019).

  4. PDF received from the artist, with texts for the exhibition catalogue Clarck or Klark, Bratislava: Gandy Gallery, 2015.

  5. Conversations with the artist, 20–21 April 2019.

  6. ‘This dense neighbourhood is home very diverse nationalities (Africans, Chinese, Portuguese…): 37 %
    of the inhabitants are born outside of France (20% in all of Paris).' See https://www.apur.org/cdrom/ CD_CUCS_2010/pdf/menu1_cucs/Quartiers/Goutte%20d%27Or/Pr%E9sentation.pdf (last accessed on 11 June 2019, translated from French by the author).

  7. See Emily Dickinson, The Gorgeous Nothings (ed. Jen Bervin and Marta Werner), New York: New Directions, 2013.

  8. See https://www.gandy-gallery.com/exhibitions/bratislava/2011-babi-badalov (last accessed on
    31 May 2019).

  9. See Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, London: Profile Books, 2019.

  10. Conversations with the artist, 20–21 April 2019.

  11. Ibid.