Invisibles masters by Rachid Koraïchi is composed of ninety-nine cotton banners, each adorned with signs of the artist's own creation paying tribute to the fourteen Sufi masters, especially Rûmî and Hafez, whom Koraïchi especially admires. The fresco also features the history of men, elders, fishermen, saints and poets who lived between the 8th and 20th centuries. The artist deals with timeless themes, like humanity and the conflict between diversity and uniformity. While the 21st century began with the Arab Spring, a symbol of hope soon forgotten as chaos took hold and Islamic terror gained dominion threatening even European cities today, Koraïchi's work is a timely reminder of the message of tolerance at the heart of the Islamic faith and a founding tenet of the Masters' teaching.
Soberly and elegantly designed as an artwork itself, Maîtres Invisibles creates an intimate relationship between texts and images. Ferrante Ferranti has accompanied Rachid on his travels and worked with him on previous projects. His photography gives readers a chance to go behind the scenes of the work during its creation and its first exhibition at the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2010). The images also give us a chance to appreciate the details of each banner.
The current director of London's Tate Gallery, Chris Dercon, provides a eulogy of the work and retraces the complex history of the power relationships at work between the East and West, while Gerard Hougton, director of special projects at the October Gallery, tells us the back-story to the creation of the work in a previously unpublished interview with the artist. Ferrante Ferranti meanwhile relates the tale of his journey to transcendence. The final word belongs to Rachid Koraïchi who expresses his infinite respect of the Sufi masters.