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Marrakech Biennale

Different venues, Marrakech

4th Edition. The opening 5 days will be titled 'Surrender' and will consist of performances, talks and screenings as well as the opening of the main visual arts exhibition. By bringing together artists, film makers and writers from around the world the Biennale aims to promote the status of the artist and contemporary culture in North Africa and to dynamize the regional creative scene. Venues: Various around the city of Marrakech including Riad El Fenn, ESAV Film School, Theatre Royal, Riad Denise Masson, Jemaa el Fna Square.

comunicato stampa

The Marrakech Biennale - formerly Arts in Marrakech (AiM) Biennale - is a Moroccan festival of contemporary international culture. In February 2012 the Marrakech Biennale will launch its fourth edition, Surrender, featuring key figures in literature, film and visual arts. Public screenings, talks, performances and debates will take place at diverse venues and locations around the city 29th February-4th March 2012.

The Marrakech Biennale is pleased to announce the participation of Roger Hiorns, Rian Malan, Kate Winslet, Hicham Lasri, Geoff Dyer, Anthony Horowitz, Faouzi Bensaidi, Dominic West and CocoRosie amongst others.

In this, its fourth and largest edition, the Marrakech Biennale is in partnership with; Dar al- Ma’mûn residency, Institut Français, Palais de Tokyo, British Council, Puma, Helisud Maroc, Calvert 22 Gallery, Tate, ESAV Film School, On Spot Story, Travel Link Morocco and the Goethe Institute.

Visual arts: As part of the Biennale, Higher Atlas, a major exhibition curated by Carson Chan and Nadim Samman, will take place at the Theatre Royal in Marrakech (29th February-3rd June 2012). High connotes reverie and transcendence. Higher Atlas suggests a cartography of the beyond. All works will be new site-specific commissions, conceived and created on location with local craftspeople and manufacturers. Over twenty-five international artists, architects, writers, musicians and composers will be showing their work, including Karthik Pandian, Aleksandra Domanovic, CocoRosie, Jon Nash, Juergen Mayer H and Turner Prize nominated Roger Hiorns. The exhibition seeks to engage in an expansive dialogue with the city.

Co-curator Carson Chan notes: “While trying to curate an exhibition that could become part of a contemporary Moroccan cultural identity, we can also challenge the received methods of biennale making that is routinely practiced elsewhere. Do we have to show art? Why not commission a novel, a symphony, an album or a prayer?“

Film: Alan Yentob, creative director of the BBC, leads the advisory board curating the film programme with discussions, screenings and debates held in Riad El Fenn and the ESAV film school. Confirmed participants include Anthony Horowitz, Kate Winslet, Dominic West, Lubna Azabal, Faouzi Bensaidi, Kevin McDonald, Michael Souvignier and Hicham Lasri.

Literature: Omar Berrada, Benedicte Clarkson and Elizabeth Sheinkman organise the literature events which include Rian Malan and Geoff Dyer and take place at the 17th century townhouse, Riad El Fenn. Readings, performances and interventions will also be taking place around the city. Debate: A series of conversations on art and identity, presented by Dar al-Ma'mûn and featuring curators, editors and critics from the international art world, including Aziz Daki (Atelier 21), Simon Njami (Revue Noire), Khadija El Bennaoui (Art Moves Africa) and Negar Azimi (Bidoun).

Education: In order to promote access to contemporary culture for all ages, the 4th Marrakech Biennale will conduct workshops for children lead by local and international cultural practitioners, in partnership with Zidzid Kids. An internship programme pairing artists with students from the l'Université Cadi Ayyad Marrakech (UCAM) has also been established. Official Parallel Projects: Official Parallel Projects will be selected and acknowledged as an integral and specific section of the Biennale, and will be autonomously organized by the promoting institutes/individuals. We aim to fuel creative production in Marrakech during the Biennale dates with many international and local organisations involved, ranging from book launches to round-tables to video installations.

General: These three months aim to highlight Morocco as a dynamic hub for current ideas and to establish its continued intellectual involvement on an international stage. The biennale’s role, both locally and internationally, has evolved along with the climate of the times. In light of recent events in North Africa, its goals could not be more pertinent. In addition to sponsoring significant and lasting social, economic and cultural benefits for the area and its inhabitants, the Biennale aims to show the outside world that Morocco is an open society that encourages freedom of expression and debate.

About the Marrakech Biennale In 2004 with the rise of global tensions, Vanessa Branson envisioned a cultural festival that would address social issues through the arts, using them as a vehicle for debate and discussion and to build bridges between diverse ideologies. The Marrakech Biennale would become a celebration of creativity in a city that has been the focus of artistic exploration for centuries but until now with limited emphasis on contemporary art.

First held in 2005, the Marrakech Biennale is the first major trilingual (English, Arabic & French) festival in North Africa focusing on cutting-edge contemporary art, literature and film. By bringing together artists, film makers and writers from around the world the Biennale aims to promote the status of the artist and contemporary culture in North Africa and to dynamize the regional creative scene. Held every two years, the Marrakech Biennale promotes inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary exchanges through an educational approach that addresses art professionals, students and the general public.

The Biennale has grown to become an internationally recognised event with a thriving visual art, film and literature programme. Past participants at the Marrakech Biennale have included Francis Alys, Yto Barrada, John Boorman, Richard E. Grant, Edmond El Maleh, Tracy Emin, Pieter Hugo, Isaac Julien, Abdellah Karroum, Joseph Kosuth, Julian Schnabel, Sadie Smith and Abdellah Taia.

President – Vanessa Branson
Visual Arts Curators - Nadim Samman and Carson Chan
Film Programme – Alan Yentob, Suzy Gillett, Mohamed Bakrim, Vincent Melilli.
Literary Programme – Omar Berrada, Benedicte Clarkson and Elizabeth Sheinkman

For more information, images and to arrange an interview with festival director Vanessa Branson and curators Carson Chan and Nadim Samman please contact Jody Gillett mobile + 44 (0) 7818 453 650

Offical Biennale Welcome and Press Conference 11:00 - 12:00
with Vanessa Branson, Carson Chan and Nadim Samman, Omar Berrada and Alan Yentob.
I Am Slave 14:30-16:30 | Venue: ESAV
Screening of I am Slave followed by a discussion with the director Gabriel Range and lead actress Lubna Azabal
Artistic identities in Africa and the Middle East 14:30-16:30 | Venue: Riad Denise Masson
with Aziz Daki (art historian, director of the Atelier 21 in Casablanca), Khadija El Bennaoui (coordinator of Young Arab Theater Fund and Art Moves Africa and Board member of Arterial Network), Catherine David (independent curator, Director of Contemporary Arab Representations), Simon Njami (curator and art critic, co-founder of Revue Noire), Hamza Serafi (founder ofAthr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
A Spring of images? 17:00-18:30 | Venue: Riad Denise Masson
WJT Mitchell (theorist of art, media and literature, University of Chicago, and editor of the journal Critical Inquiry), in conversation with Rasha Salti (independent art critic, curator and film programmer) and Omar Berrada (director of the Dar al-Ma’mûn library)

Venues: Various around the city of Marrakech including Riad El Fenn, ESAV Film School, Theatre Royal, Riad Denise Masson, Jemaa el Fna Square.

Marrakech Biennale 2014
dal 24/2/2014 al 30/3/2014

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