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« The WA’s work is rooted in graffiti but quickly moves towards action and urban intervention. His gesture is linked to his multiple travels in the world and especially to Europe: he disorients and has fun with myths, he disturbs the collective order, rigs conventional values, simulates reality, disconnects logic, challenges the institution, in short, he plays and suggests his doubts. He re-appropriates technique and takes pleasure in playing with the extreme possibilities of art. The WA is defined and understood perfectly as an actor in the permanent movement of urban space. He camouflages himself within and circulates through it. His work is thus imbued with a cynical gaze, parody of thought, and caustic humor focused on the provocative organization of an uncertain world. »1
« Olabo’s work is also rooted in graffiti culture but much more deeply in the elegance of wood. Trained as a carpenter, Olabo finds his artistic skill in his qualities as a constructor, a builder. He then comes to demonstrate that all the power of art arises above all from technical know-how supported by a particular perspective. Olabo is also inspired by his various travels across Europe and two other major influencers: Ecuador and Burma. Olabo offers a visual dynamic for the purpose of a visual awareness to the contexts in the world that question him. Also as an actor in public space, Olabo will make himself known — sensitive and fierce, he rams into society; one which has not finished playing its precarious and therefore elusive spectacle. »2
« Naturally, of course, it’s between a barrier jump and two wire cutters that the WA and Olabo meet … One is from art and the other from wood. One did fine arts and the other was a carpenter. Today, The WA and Olabo are tinkering with a common itinerary around generous artistic knowledge: to act, to do one’s part. Far from the waiting room of the contemporary art market, their street credibility unconfirmed, these two baroques are no longer waiting. They can no longer handle standing in line, they have decided to deflect the wait: they bypass patience, deepen the urgency and surprise you in anonymity. They both operate between two bases of vertigo: poetic risk and fleeting engagement. The WA and Olabo are neither punk nor anarchists, they are poets and hackers, artists and useless, charming and suspicious, they are there … invisible and benevolent … and by the time you understand this definition, they rob you in your certainties. »3
Video, 37min, 2014/2015
Fountain shows in a hybrid form the making and filmed performance of a several month journey featuring the two artists. Starting from the simple observation that water is a common good privatized by the giants of capitalism, we follow them from the « taking » of metal bars supporting the protective fences of the Nestlé factory to their hijacking as a drilling tool in a desert region of Morocco.
1Manu Berk, « Olabo et The Wa à Nouakchott » (trans. from original french)