Perfume of Traitors (2021), solo show, steel and steel chains, green filter, various dimensions. Vitrine Gallery, London. Photos: Jonathan Bassett. More here

The work of French writer Jean Genet has been a large influence on Lakhrissi’s work and life. For ‘Perfume of Traitors’, Lakhrissi has drawn on the philosophy of betrayal that Genet’s seminal novel ‘The Thief’s Journal’ contemplates and explores through an autobiographical story of love and deceit. In the artists own reading of the text, he comes to the conclusion that “in order to be free, you have to betray; you have to be a traitor to be free.” This notion is encapsulated within each hanging steel sculpture. Similar to his installation produced for Crac Alsace (2019) and Palais de Tokyo (2020), the metal sculptures shown in ‘Perfume of Traitors’ are able to be wielded, but considered failed or useless because of their blunted manufacturing. In the process of designing the sculptures, Lakhrissi wanted to reveal the one lodged in the back, a gesture to the saying ‘stabbed in the back’, a violent synonym of betrayal. The designs are then distorted in a romantic self-sabotage to render them useless; empowering oneself in a non-threatening and non-violent way. (William Noel Clarke)