International Biennial of Casablanca Announces 2018 Curatorial Committee

Biennial of Casablanca curatorial committee

Left to right: Mostapha Romli, Founding President; Michèle Desmottes, Director of Communication; Christine Eyene, Artistic Director of the 4th International Biennial of Casablanca. Photo: Brahim Taougar.

The International Biennial of Casablanca announced its 2018 curatorial committee. The announcement was made at Villa des Arts (Casablanca) on Thursday 22 February during a conference held by Christine Eyene, Artistic Director of the biennial’s fourth edition. The committee is composed of the following curators and scholars: Dr. Ethel Brooks, Yasmina Naji, Ema Tavola and Françoise Vergès.

The purpose of this committee is to contribute practices, knowledge and thinking processes from diverse cultural horizons, and respond to the theme of the biennial through a dialogue drawing from each of the curator’s specialism.

The committee members have been selected based on their interactions with the art world, academia, and their personal commitment to engaging with communities often excluded from contemporary art provision. Their role will consist in taking part in the artists selection, organising an exhibition in one of the biennial’s venues, and developing an immaterial component responding to the theme and local context: reflection, text, or experience emphasizing forms of public engagement and participatory projects.

The 4th International Biennial of Casablanca is entitled Tales from Water Margins. This title takes its cue from Water Margin a 14th century Chinese novel attributed to Shi Nai’an (c.1296-1372) and Luo Guanzhong (c.1330-1400) chronicling the prowess of outlaws operating from a marsh-edged mountain, fighting against tyranny during the Song dynasty, with a strategic relationship to a topography similar to the one later found in Maroon resistances. These authors are also contemporary to Moroccan scholar Ibn Battuta (1304-1368 or 69), one the world’s first geographers who travelled from Morocco to China from 1332 to 1347.

Inspired by these ancient narratives, and by a prior interest in margins and insular contexts —notably in their relation to the sea and ocean — the biennial will propose to reflect on spaces that exist at the margin of what is considered mainstream cultural fluxes, and foster creative conversations between artists from diverse cultural spheres.

The call for artists detailing the theme of this edition is available until 31 March 2018 on the biennial website www.biennalecasablanca.ma. The selected artists and first exhibition venues will be announced in April and May 2018.

The 4th International Biennial of Casablanca will take place from 27 October to 2 December 2018.