Marrakech is a cultural, geographical and artistic crossroads between North and Sub-Saharan Africa, East and West. As a metaphorical centre, the city and its art biennial are the focus of the exhibition at ifa Gallery Berlin.

Carrefour / Meeting Point
The Marrakech Biennale and beyond

July 17–October 4, 2015

ifa Gallery Berlin, ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations) 
Linienstrasse 139/140
10115 Berlin

Curator: Alya Sebti

The title of the ifa exhibition sees Marrakech and the biennial as a metaphorical centre where different paths cross. Marrakech and the biennale were and still are the interface and meeting point between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb. They form a link to Europe, a turntable between north and south and east and west.

This exhibition is a journey towards “other” modes of experiential and material connection. An invitation to draw porous routes and explore languages that counter the geographic and metaphorical distance that separates us. The starting point of this exhibition takes as a fictional centre the Marrakech Biennale. The curator Alya Sebti has invited participants of past editions to develop ideas and projects within a new space of encounter.

With existing works as well as commissioned projects, they have created new forms of language negotiating between alternatives forms of translation and transmission: where music becomes a unique orientation; where olfactory experience draws a conversation between poetry and fragrance; where weaving performs as a geometry lesson and shield masks open up to listen to the polyphony of voices expressed by the individual whose path reaches a crossing—Carrefour / Meeting Point.


The selected artworks look at the permeability between public spaces and private realms. The artists Saâdane Afif, Leila Alaoui, Yassine Balbzioui, Max Boufathal, and Clara Meister explore possible ways addressing our vulnerability and our position in the world – in the form of sculptures, installations, and sound and video works. Megumi Matsubara developed a new form of exhibition, having a special perfume created for “Carrefour / Meeting Point” by a Moroccan perfumer. In and with these works, the artists create a further new space for encounter, exchange and collaboration.

With the “Spot on . . . ” series, in recent years the ifa Galleries in Stuttgart and Berlin have presented international biennials supported by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen). The aim was to present lesser-known biennials in Germany and also to raise awareness of these international ifa activities.


Saâdane Afif
* 1970 Vendôme, Loir-et-Cher, France. Lives in Berlin, Germany.

Leila Alaoui
* 1982 Paris, France. Lives in Marrakech, Morocco, and Beirut, Lebanon.

Yassine Balbzioui
* 1972 Kelâat Es-Sraghna, Morocco. Lives in Paris and Bordeaux, France.

Max Boufathal
* 1983 Paris, France. Lives in Brussels, Belgium.

Megumi Matsubara
* 1977 Tokyo, Japan. Lives in Fes, Morocco.

Clara Meister
* 1981 Munich, Germany. Curator, based in Berlin.


Read more about Marrakech Biennale