Child of the Medina of Tunis, Hosni Hertelli – his real name – deconstructs the Arabic alphabet to question the place of language in our contemporary societies.
The movement is lively, repetitive, without hesitation and perfectly rhythmic.
The brush moves almost mechanically over the glass plates which overhang an amphitheatre in the centre of which rise, mysterious and magical at the same time, the voices of the six munshid (Muslim religious singers) of the Al Nabolsy ensemble.
Using paint, which he dilutes with varying amounts of water, the Tunisian street artist draws fragments of dripping letters.
Drips which paradoxically give the impression that they flow towards the sky. The calligraphy of this self-taught artist is unorthodox.
‘It is even unreadable,’ he admits, ‘because it is abstract. I deconstruct the letters for a result that, in the end, is readable and understandable by all.
We find a similar concept in the songs of these Sufis.
It is extraordinary to see the audience of White Spirit applauding and giving a standing ovation to these artists whose songs are praises to God that the vast majority of the Parisian audience does not understand. Art is what brings us together.’