Latifa Echakhch’s installation “À chaque stencil une révolution (For each stencil a revolution)” wraps the Hammer Museum lobby stairwell in a wave of brilliant indigo.
From ceiling to floor, the vivid pigment drips through a range of shades -- from the deep, near-black of a moonlit sky to a pale, electric sheen of dusk -- before gathering in delicate pools along the floor.
It is an enchanting color, a poetic color, sensually manipulated, drawing associations with Yves Klein and Mark Rothko. It is also, surprisingly, an industrial color, developed not for an artwork but for the practical dissemination of information. It derives from thousands of sheets of carbon paper, plastered to the wall and sprayed with a solution of alcohol.
The work’s deceptively political underpinning emerges principally in the title, which comes from a quote by the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat describing the powerful role of the mimeograph machine in the protest movements of the 1960s.