It is almost impossible not to stop in front of Mahi Binebine’s mask-like faces. Made by mixing tar, string, and pencil on canvas, and later by carving or scraping away at the paintings, these works appear almost sculptural. Those scarred characters with only one eye open: are they suffering, or on the contrary, are they healing? Are they hurt or sleepy? The mystery in which they are shrouded taps something universal, even if each face appears to belong to an individuated person. In the background of some is handwritten text whose sentences mean nothing. The text alludes to Binebine’s other line of work: he’s also an internationally acclaimed author who’s writes about the human condition and solitude. It’s almost as if a secret language was shaping up before us, one that has the power to free the unconscious.