November 24, 2009 - Swiss Institute - Latifa Echakhch
November 24, 2009

Latifa Echakhch

Latifa Echakhch, Globus (b), 2007. Courtesy the artist and Kamel Mennour, Paris.

Latifa Echakhch
Movement and Complication

December 1, 2009 – February 13, 2010

Opening Reception: November 29 2009, 3 – 6pm

Swiss Institute
495 Broadway 3rd Floor
New York NY 10012
Tel 212.925.2035
Fax 212.925.2040
info [​at​]

Latifa Echakhch is one of the most successful protagonists of a new European generation. The installations of the French-Moroccan artist (born 1974, lives in Martigny) address issues of social life with striking elegance. Echakhch uses her own identity and experience to question pre-conceived ideas about nationality, religion, and history. Intellectually challenging, but at once sensual, the artist’s work explores society in an increasingly globalized world.

In her first institutional solo exhibition in the United States, Latifa Echakhch presents a new body of work. The site-specific installation Plaintes (complaints) is inspired by The Modulor, a system of measurements developed by Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Echakhch applies the architect’s measures to eight charcoal wall drawings, which create an obscure pattern throughout the gallery. In addition, she displays small wooden brainteasers on pedestals. On a formal level they allude to the bag of tricks of modernism. The piece is consequently entitled HLM, after the subsidized housing complexes in the French banlieue. Furthermore, the large windows on Broadway are painted in a bright yellow, based on the substance Gaya (E102), a food coloring used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron in Asian cooking.

The exhibition’s title Movement and Complication borrows terms from horology. In this field, a movement indicates a simple watch. The term complication, however, refers to any feature beyond the basic display of hours, minutes, and seconds. The more complications (e.g. a moon calendar), the more difficult it is to design, create, assemble, and eventually repair the watch. Latifa Echakhch applies those terms to question urbanism, related theories and eventually social movement and complication.

Grrrr (alias Ingo Giezendanner)
seeks inspiration from urban space, obsessively documenting his location in detailed drawings, animations, and public murals. Encompassing the foyer of the gallery, Grrrr reacts to New York and re-imagines the city’s vistas.

Reading Room
Ooga Booga
is a concept shop vital to the creative life-blood of LA. It gathers an eclectic range of products: one finds rare zines by Frances Stark next to furry animals of Mike Kelley. Spearheaded by Wendy Yao, Ooga Booga fosters a vibrant community of independent producers.

About Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art New York
Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art is a not-for-profit contemporary art gallery operating in New York City since 1986. As a truly international space for contemporary art, we occupy an ambitious, boundary-crossing role in NYC, fostering interaction between American, Swiss and European artists and audiences. Our institution works like a European Kunsthalle, presenting cutting-edge art within a forward-thinking intellectual framework. Because we have no collection and no responsibilities to the art market, all our energy goes towards the realization of artistic and curatorial projects. An additional vital part of our programming is an ambitious series of events creating crucial opportunities to weave contemporary art into the fabric of everyday life.

Swiss Institute

Swiss Institute
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