THE CREATION & STRATIFICATION OF VALUE OF A BERBER RUG PRODUCED IN THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS. 2022.
Berber rug produced by Nayma Fatima from May 30th, 2022 to June 26th, 2022. Natural Wool. 200cm x 300cm.
Description: a fiction about a true story
The “Atlas rug” is a paradoxical object that reproduce the dynamic of exploitation it represents. The commerce of typical Berbere rug is a prosperous business since modernist architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier promoted the great quality of this “made by woman” product, and many artists interpreted it.
Today s production follows the rules of commitioned work accordingly to the desire of the single customer or the market demand. The production work is still (mainly) very poorly paid: one day of labor produces about 23 wool lines and it is paid 0,08 Euro (0,80 Diram) for each line (more or less, 60€ for the complete rug)*. To produce a typical format (200cm x 300cm) a woman need one month of work, dealing in the meanwhile between family and community duties. The rug has been commissioned following simple rules:
“Pls, to be produces with natural white wool. After each working day the artist concludes the day with a black wool line. If there is a day the artist do not work (festivities, sickness or rest), she will mark the day off with an extra black wool line. She will proceed in this way until the realization of the carpet. She may mark/ sign the carpet if she wants.”
The rug became the not concealable record of the daily work, production, breaks, days off and payment of the artist. The initial value is inscribed in the piece materiality and conceptually. Every time the rug get sold, it records the stratification of creation of both symbolic and exchange value by the middle man, the artist studio, the gallerist, the collector, the second market, etc.. Every time one rug is sold, one another is put in production following the same rules.
*The rug has been produced through the Moroccan association Marocoeur by Abdel ghafour Aboussiba, assuring the production payment directily to the weaver artist, acconding to the price usually paid to the middle man (6000 Diran, 600 Euros +shipment) skipping the middle-man high commissions fees. The first value stratification appears: 60€ production cost, 600€ midlleman cost, 1600€ studio artist cost, etc.