July 7, 2016 - Tabakalera - Yto Barrada
July 7, 2016


Yto Barrada
July 8–October 9, 2016

Opening: July 8, 8pm

International Centre for Contemporary Culture
Andre zigarrogileak plaza, 1
20012 Donostia-San Sebastián

T +34 943 01 13 11

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Tabakalera presents the first solo exhibition in Spain by Yto Barrada (Paris, 1971), which includes videos, photographs, prints and sculptures of her new work, as well as selected earlier pieces. There is a selection of videos, offering an inside view of the world of a textile smuggler, the tricks of a magician and the trade in fake fossils in Morocco. In a series of photographs, she documents a selection of toys collected by French ethnographers. These works address issues related to history, geography, geology, the invention of tradition, and the meaning of the modern.

Artist Yto Barrada has done much of her work in her place of origin. Since The Strait Project (1999-2003), where she depicted the idiosyncrasies of post-Schengen Tangier, as a city across the Straits of Gibraltar from Europe, Barrada has continued to address economic, social and cultural aspects of Morocco, related with the country’s colonial legacy and her own identity.

Her most recent works address themes such as palaeontology and national heritage. They include the film Faux départ (2015), dealing with the manufacture industry of fake fossils in Morocco, North African Toys (2014–15), a series of photographs of Berber toys from the Quai Branly Museum collection in Paris, and the pipework sculpture Plumber Assamblage (2015), a sort of readymade, is a device used by out-of-work plumbers in the souk in Tangier to attract potential clients.

Amongst older pieces in the exhibition we will find the films The Magician (2003), The Smuggler (2005) and Beau geste (2009) with characters from the margins of Moroccan society, as well as other works such as the series of photographs "Reprendre Casa. Carrières Centrales, Casablanca" (2013), a reflection of the evolution of modernism as colonial heritage.

The poetic quality Yto Barrada brings to her pictures encourages reflection. These are pictures with the capacity to suggest a political interpretation of the most common everyday situations. Moreover, the style of her narrative, her way of building everyday stories from her personal experiences, in her condition as a woman and in her family circle, imbues her work with a very personal character.

Playfulness and toys are also part of her artistic language.

The exhibition will be accompanied by screenings of films proposed by the Cinémathèque de Tanger, a collective project founded ten years ago by Yto Barrada and other artists and filmmakers to rescue the city's RIF cinema and turn it into a cultural hub.

Yto Barrada studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work, which includes photographs, sculptures, publications and installations, began by exploring the situation of the Tangier of her childhood. Her production has been exhibited at the Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), the Renaissance Society (Chicago), the Witte de With (Rotterdam), the Haus der Kunst (Munich), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Whitechapel Gallery (London) and at the Venice Biennale (2007 and 2011). She has been nominated for the Marchel Duchamp Prize 2016.

The exhibition can be visited from July 8 to October 9, and will be accompanied by a programme of activities open to all.


Related events

Carte blanche: Cinémathèque de Tanger
July 8–10
Cartes Blanches programme is an invitation to festivals, critics, artists and international programmers to enable access to our screen and to establish working partnerships and dialogue. 

Visits in dialogue to the exhibition
July 15 / September 30
The tours offer different routes and dialogues to give a range of ideas of the contents. 

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