GENESIS OF THE WORK
Made in Italy© — Handle with care (2015)
30 panels that exhibit the commodified sample of a lesser humanity like goods on a supermarket shelf.
Made in Italy© — Handle with care is one of Sabbagh’s most ambitious works. Acquired by the MAXXI Museum in Rome (2015), it shows a series of photographs of young men taken on the Adriatic shore. Standing upright on the sea-shore like idols before a threshold, they wear oversized trousers that endow the bodies of these child heroes with a graceless appearance. A brief description of each is given separately, illustrating the technical characteristics, the origin and type of the goods, i.e. the children. Sabbagh’s is an ironic post-humanism, a scratch on the fragile skin of our residually-Greek humanistic beliefs
that questions us at length (because the sign of the scratch remains) on the fittingness of those beliefs, on their hypocrisy and opportunism. The scratch is always engraved on a skin, the great theme of this stateless artist’s poetics. In fact, skin recurs like a topos in many of his projects: skin painted black, the trousers worn by children like a second skin, the shreds of fabric sewn onto the camp beds, it is the worn-out casing of a humanity immune to pain, whose only remaining idol is merchandise.