Palm Sign


Aluminium, paint, color light bulbs

251.5 x 152 x 51 cm (99 x 59 13/16 x 20 1/16 in.)

A large metal sculpture, Palm Sign (2010) represents an almost rudimentary palm tree lit by coloured bulbs. Some of the bulb sockets are empty, making the work appear old or neglected.

The cream colour of the palm tree recalls the colour of taxis in Tangiers, Morocco. Its worn appearance evokes once “popular” holiday destinations now left in disrepair, highlighting the cyclical nature of modernisation and decay. Through this work, Yto Barrada studies the commercialisation of Morocco as an exotic country, and the homogenisation of the urban and botanic landscape that ensues. The artist deplores the devastation of green spaces and the destruction of nature caused by the development of the tourism industry. The palm tree also shows the resistance of plant life in unbridled urban extension.

The artist’s work in the Pinault Collection was first presented at the Palazzo Grassi at the "Le Monde vous appartient" (“The World Belongs to You”) exhibition (2011-2012).