Ghita Skali at 1646

Artist: Ghita Skali

Exhibition title: Natuurlijk

Venue: 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands

Date: April 28 – July 9, 2023

Photography: Jhoeko / images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 1646, The Hague

How to clean your butt?

Artist Ghita Skali transforms The Hague’s art space 1646 into a butt cleaner shop!  With hundreds of different types of butt cleaners in store, Skali’s exhibition titled Natuurlijk familiarizes you with the cultural diversity that exists in the world of hygiene and cleanliness.

In a lively and culturally rich shopping street in the center of The Hague, a large neon sign “BUTT CLEANERS ‘R’ US” welcomes the audience. The butt cleaner-filled shelves at 1646 form the setting in which Ghita Skali’s new video work is presented. The exhibition shows how what’s seen as ‘natural’ (or ‘natuurlijk’ in Dutch) is a cultural construct, carrying bias.

Discussing power structures with humour

What is seen as natural when it comes to hygiene, and where does that definition come from? Skali’s new video work, that will be on view in the exhibition, tells the story of proud Dutchman Joep de Jong, who works at the flower market and is looking for a watering can to keep his tulips alive. During his quest, Joep shockingly discovers that the cans are being used for different purposes… Through humour, caricature and stereotyping, Skali discusses existing power relations regarding the definition of hygiene, that stem from a colonial past but are still present today. A past in which Western ideas of hygiene and cleanliness were pushed into colonized countries and the norms of native cultures were looked down upon. The exhibition Natuurlijk familiarizes you with the cultural diversity in the world of hygiene. Because who decides what is normal and what is not? How to clean your teeth or butt?

About Ghita Skali

Ghita Skali (Casablanca, 1992) is an artist based in Amsterdam. She studied in France, first at Villa Arson, Nice, then at the post-graduate program of the Fine Arts School in Lyon. She was a De Ateliers (Amsterdam) participant between 2018 and 2020. Skali uses odd news, rumours and propaganda to disrupt institutional power structures such as the western contemporary art world, state oppression and government politics. Her work often ends up as a strong critique with outcomes that penetrate channels that go beyond the exhibition space taking the form of informal trade of goods, legal documents, and things you take home for a warm night tea. She notably exhibited recently at Kunsthal extra City (Antwerp), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam).