Tunis

Alex Ayed, Untitled (Beit El Hmam) (Pigeon House), 2019, steel, plaster, and pigeons, 12' 1⁄8“ ×  3' 3 3⁄8” × 4' 3 1⁄8".

Alex Ayed, Untitled (Beit El Hmam) (Pigeon House), 2019, steel, plaster, and pigeons, 12' 1⁄8“ × 3' 3 3⁄8” × 4' 3 1⁄8".

Alex Ayed

B7L9

In 1991, Judit Polgár, a fifteen-year-old Hungarian chess prodigy known for her unflinching stare and imaginative approach to the game, broke Bobby Fischer’s record by becoming the youngest player ever to receive the title of grand master. Defying convention, her playing style was marked by flamboyant risk-taking and a near-reckless fervor that kept her opponents constantly off-balance.

Polgár’s inventive strategy provided one catalyst for Alex Ayed’s exhibition “Soap Opera,” but it is safe to say the two play fundamentally different games. If, as the artist believes, chess is predicated on prediction, his work revels in the gray areas of expectation: superstition, coincidence, chance. Such spontaneity was right at home in the cavernous former warehouse of B7L9, the Kamel Lazaar Foundation’s recently launched art space in Tunis’s Bhar Lazreg district. Formerly as agricultural farmland, the

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