Arts in Marrakech #4
February 29 – June 3, 2012
Curators: Carson Chan and Nadim Samman
Higher Atlas will be the title of the Main Visual Arts Exhibition and The Arts In Marrakech organizing committee is proud to announce the appointment of Nadim Samman and Carson Chan as curators of the Exhibition. It will be held for the first time at the historic El Badi Palace and throughout the former Imperial city. The exhibition will be open for three months.
High connotes reverie and transcendence. Higher Atlas suggests a cartography of the beyond. The title also refers to the local geography—the Atlas Mountains, which are visible from the venue—and, more generally, the exhibition location. In this respect the ruined 16th century Badi Palace is the starting point or ‘ground’ for a series of trips, both virtual and physical. The show will emphasize site-specific interventions by international contemporary artists and architects.
Occupying a large plot on the Southern quarter of Marrakesh, El Badi Palace was commissioned by Ahmad al-Mansur, the sultan of Morocco in the Saadi dynasty. The construction began in 1578 and it took 25 years to complete. Few of its 360 rooms—lavishly decorated by European craftsmen with cedar, semi-precious stones, gold from Sudan, and marble from Italy—have survived, but the palace’s defining courtyard remains. Courtyards are characteristic of traditional Moroccan architecture, but the El Badi boasts the biggest.