November 2, 2012 - Portikus - Latifa Echakhch
November 2, 2012

Latifa Echakhch

Latifa Echakhch
Die Vögel

November 3, 2012–February 2013 

Opening: Friday, November 2, 4–8pm
Sachsenhausen river bank opposite Portikus

Alte Brücke 2 / Maininsel
60594 Frankfurt am Main

Portikus has been located for six years now on the Maininsel, a small island in the river Main, sharing this exceptional site with a protected bird sanctuary. Many artists have addressed the specificity of the isolated island within the urban fabric of the city of Frankfurt. This time an artist has been invited to create a work especially for this outside space. French-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch has developed an intervention on the island, which, while not being accessible to visitors, is visible from the banks of the river.

The Portikus island is an exceptional spot for witnessing the changing seasons and the subsequent behavior of urban wildlife. In spring and summer, the foliage of the trees disguises the cityscape, creating a tropical-like forest that becomes home to various birds and animals. Come autumn and winter, the scenery changes dramatically, creating a melodramatic black and white silhouette of trees and branches. This is also the time when migrating birds temporarily populate the island.

Reflecting on ideas of absence inherent in migration, Latifa Echakhch—having herself a diverse cultural heritage—made a sculptural work that to an extent repopulates the island over the winter months. With the expertise of the renowned Senckenberg Research Institute, the island’s biotope was mapped. Based on these findings, Echakhch developed a project centering around the transient nature of life on the island and the fluctuation of migrating birds, and fabricated a number of kites in the shape of birds to be attached to the trees. The kites are made from plastic bin-bags, echoing the paradox of a nature reserve in an urban cityscape.

Spring, and with it the beginning of the breeding season and the revitalization of the island, will mark the end of Echakhch’s installation. Until then, the work can be viewed from the Sachsenhausen river bank, adding to the tradition of Portikus to introduce contemporary art into the realm of the city.

On the occasion of her exhibition at Portikus, Latifa Echakhch has produced an edition which is available at Portikus and online at

With scientific support by the Senckenberg Research Institute.

For more information and guided tours of the exhibition, please contact us at info [​at​] or 
+49 69 9624454-0.

Director: Nikolaus Hirsch
Curator: Sophie von Olfers
Assistant Curator:
Aurélia Defrance


Alte Brücke 2 / Maininsel

60594 Frankfurt am Main
T +49 69 962 44 540
info [​at​]

A project within the framework of the EUROPEAN CULTURAL DAYS of the ECB – France 2012



Latifa Echakhch at Portikus
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