Morocco Intersections is a working visit to Marrakesh, Casablanca and Rabat for artists, curators and professionals in the contemporary visual arts from Belgium. The programme is organised by Flanders Arts Institute together with Hicham Khalidi (associate curator Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris) and Léa Morin (co-director L’Atelier de l’Observatoire, Casablanca) in partnership with the Department of Contemporary Visual Arts of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and Wallonia-Brussels International. This programme is part of Flanders Arts Institute’s broader focus and research on artistic practice in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Morocco Intersections includes visits to art organisations, museums, galleries, residencies and artists’ initiatives as well as informal meetings with artists and curators from the Moroccan visual art scene. The visit coincides with the Madrassa Programme organised by L’Atelier de l’Observatoire and will enable encounters between participants of both programmes.
The overall aim of Morocco Intersections is for artists and art professionals to get a better knowledge and understanding of the issues at stake within the Moroccan contemporary art scene as well as in the broader Maghreb region, and to establish contacts for further exchange and artistic collaboration between Europe, the Maghreb and MENA region.
Monday 25 September – Marrakesh
Tuesday 26 September – Marrakesh and Casablanca
Wednesday 27 September – Rabat with Madrassa participants
Thursday 28 September – Casablanca
Mai Abu ElDahab
Mai Abu ElDahab is a contemporary art curator from Cairo, living in Brussels since 2007. Her curatorial projects have been concerned with “how we work” as much as with the “what we do”. She was, with Anthony Huberman, curator of A Needle Walks Into a Haystack, 8th Liverpool Biennial in 2014. She was from 2007 to 2012, the director of Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp. She edited and co-edited many publications including These are the tools of the present (2017), Francis Mckee’s How to Know What’s Really Happening (with Kayfa ta, 2016), Final Vocabulary (2015), Circular Facts (2011), Hassan Khan’s The Agreement (2011), and commissioned and produced the music record Behave Like an Audience (2013), all published by Sternberg Press. She is currently the director of Mophradat, a non-profit contemporary arts organization working between Europe and the Arab World.
Essential to the work of Ben Benaouisse (°1971) is his attempt to grasp political, religious and cultural patterns. Before trying out the possibilities of paint and canvas, he had already made his name with experimental theatre and dance performances. His path is an atypical one, in which he explores diverse media without any academic training. His artistic oeuvre develops around the principle of appropriation and presents a never-ending search for an attitude towards the ‘here and now’: “What can I add to everything that has already been done, as an artist? I am the dwarf on the giant.” He tests the power of art in our times and investigates its role in our society. His conceptual interest finds a balance in the amazement and the pleasure of creation.
Samira Bendadi (°1966) writes for MO* magazine and MO.be about diversity and covers the region of North Africa. Samira Bendadi was in charge of the Arabic-speaking broadcast of Radio Vlaanderen International for six years. After that she made reports for TV Brussels and participated in documentaries for the VRT. She has also worked as a freelance journalist for Knack, MO*, De Standaard and Radio 1. She is the author of Dolle Amina’s. Feminism in the Arab World published in 2008.
Sam Eggermont graduated from the Academy of Arts, Brussels, in 1994 and launched his career in 2013 as a visual artist with exhibitions in Salon Blanc, CIAP, Lokaal 01 and Tique Art Space. In 2016 he opened the visual art platform ATTIK (Ghent) with Ben Benaouisse. Eggermont’s artistic model succeeds in exposing Western domination (social, political, economic and artistic): through the embracing of plurality, the recognition of the multiformity and variegation of contemporary reality, instead of the desire to consolidate it all under one name. His aesthetic, full of appealing patterns, glimmering textures or subtle nuances of colour, serves as a sort of trap, a seductive bait used in disseminating his critical discourse. The aesthetic aspect is thus made a political instrument for cognitively reshaping general ideas with respect to periphery cultures. Eggermont can sometimes be more direct and specific than at other times, when he adopts a more abstract, poetic language in both form and content. For the artist this is all about which patterns cultures and societies produce and which patterns in turn produced the societies in question, be they human or animal. It seems like an intuitive return to a premodern line of thought, where culture and nature, the creative and the created, flow into one another, the one existing by the grace of the other.
Perhaps it is time, Eggermont seems subtly to suggest, that European/Western man became more conscious of the fact that the path to possible solutions for prevailing contemporary issues is not to be found in ever more modernity, nor progress and expansion, but in a genuinely post-modern attitude that accepts emptiness and failure while also recognising the significance of tradition, not in the reiterative sense, but in the sense of creating, recreating and reshaping: an attitude stemming from the realisation that a ‘culture’ is not a static phenomenon but a living thing that, like an organism, is constantly changing and renewing itself.
Lissa Kinnaer (°1979) is responsible for international relations for visual arts at Flanders Arts Institute, a sector institute supporting and promoting the visual arts, performing arts and music scene in Flanders, Belgium. She holds an Master’s degree in English and Dutch Literature & Linguistics from the Free University of Brussels and a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, University of London. From 2004 to 2006, she worked as project coordinator for several artistic institutions such as INIVA – Institute of International Visual Arts London), BOZAR – Center for Fine Arts (Brussels) and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels). From 2006 to 2011, she coordinated the Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles, a Brussels based cultural network. In 2011, she was appointed international relations officer at BAM, the Flemish Institute for Visual, Audiovisual and Media Art which is part of Flanders Arts Institute since January 2015.
Helena Kritis (°1981) is currently in charge of the visual arts and film program at the multidisciplinary arts centre, Beursschouwburg, in Brussels. She is especially invested in the long-term support of artistic practices and coproduces up to seven audiovisual creations a year. She holds master’s degrees in photography from KASK School of Arts Ghent (2003) and in Art History/Performing Arts Studies from Ghent University (2006). From 2006 to 2008, she worked as an assistant curator/production in M HKA, Antwerp and coordinated the Documentary FilmPlatform ZONE. She is a board member of the Courtisane Festival and the cinephile online reflection platform Sabzian (sabzian.be). She has a seat in the funding committee for documentary film (Flanders Audiovisual Fund, VAF) and visual arts (Flemish Government).
Helena Lemonnier (°1989) is a visual artist living in Brussels. In her artistic practice, she explores storytelling through memory and through history and mythology. More specifically, Helena Lemonnier is interested in how storytelling can be used as a tool to open up a dialogue beyond cultural conventions and codes. Through a selective transformation of history, she recombines lived moments into a new whole, making them in a strange way familiar, in a familiar way strange. By means of photography, video, objects and personal written correspondence she lays out clues and evidence about fictional characters that evoke numerous tales. These tales are then converted into a narrative installation or a cinematic parcours.
Louise Osieka (°1990) holds a Master in Art History and is currently the director of CIAP, Kunstverein for contemporary art in Hasselt (BE). CIAP offers upcoming and promising artists the opportunity to produce and present new work in the unconventional atmosphere of its building. In the past CIAP organized solos by Aline Bouvy, Kasper Bosmans, Vaast Colson, Dan Walwin, Tom Volkaert, Karl Philips, Remco Roes and appointed promising external curators for group shows like ‘Soft Structures – Textile Turns’; ‘Onder ons’; ‘Drawing is Thinking, Thinking is Moving’. In addition Osieka works as a freelance curator and participated in the curatorial trip to Iran and Armenia organized by Kunstenpunt, Pro Helvetia, Danish art Council and Mundrian Fund (2016). Osieka is a board member of Contour, the moving image biennale, of Cas-co, a residency and workplace in Leuven and she has a seat in the funding committee visual arts for the Flemish Government.
Isabel Van Bos
Isabel Van Bos (°1987) is currently coordinator of STRT kit in Antwerp, which offers an international development platform to young artists in collaboration with Studio Start, AIR Antwerpen, HART magazine and Kunsthal Extra City Antwerp. In addition, Van Bos is assistant to Italian artist Rossella Biscotti. As a curator she was involved in the group exhibitions Onder ons (CIAP Hasselt, 2017), The Studio Interrupted (AIR Antwerpen, 2016), Spatial Sublation (WIELS Project Room, 2016) and AudioGuide (Kunsthal Extra City Antwerp, 2016). Van Bos has been invited by Katerina Gregos and the schwarz foundation for a curatorial fellowship at Art Space Pythagorion, Samos, Greece, in the summer of 2017. In addition with Evelyn Simons she is selected for Marres Currents #5 (Maastricht, NL, 2017) and she is currently working independent on a Public Program taking place in Sint-Jans Molenbeek, Brussels, in 2018.
Mike Michiels (°1977) holds a Master’s degree in the Arts (photography). He works part time as a nurse in sheltered housing for people with a psychotic vulnerability in Brussels and coordinates KAOS (KunstAtelier OpperStraat) together with Erik Thys. KAOS is an organisation that sets up artistic projects with artists with and without a psychiatric sensitivity. KAOS organises exhibitions and concerts in close collaboration with art institutions such as WIELS, Kaaitheater, Yellow Art, Theater aan Zee, GC De Markten, Wilford X. Since 2015 KAOS runs an artist-in-residency programme at the Psycho-Social Centre Saint-Alexius in Brussels. KAOS is a founding member of the new European network Nefele which will organise festivals with as main theme: Art-Psychiatry-Stigma.
A graduate in Art History, Tom Nys (°1976) works as an independent author and curator. His specific interests are art and feminism, the ‘dialectical’ landscape, and dance music culture. His past projects include Betwixt and Between (Fotomuseum Antwerp, 2017) with Nadine Hattom, Ana Janeiro, Maha Maamoun, Valentina Stellino and Malika Sqalli; Popperola& Ampere present: TEEN (Ampere Antwerp, 2016); AbortionLaw25: a photo campaign in relation to the 25th anniversary of the Belgian abortion law with Charlotte Lybeer, Ulla Deventer, Eva Donckers, Vesna Faassen, Ingrid Leonard and Valentina Stellino (2015); Lotte Veuchelen (Cultuurcentrum De Romaanse Poort Leuven, 2013); “De Beperking van het Getal Kinders: Artistieke Reflecties op de 40ste Verjaardag van de Afschaffing van het Wettelijk Verbod op de Verspreiding en de Promotie van Anticonceptie” (Lokaal 01 Antwerp, 2013); Zomer in de Kruidtuin 2011. Tinka Pittoors: Symbolic Violence (Botanical Garden Leuven, 2011); Figures and Facts 2010 (art event in the city of Ghent, 2010); Ives Maes. The Recyclable Refugee Camp Project (Galerie Brigitte Weiss Zürich, 2004); and Interior/ Exterior. Photographic Works by Caro Niederer (SE) and Andy Goldsworthy (UK) (Cultuurcentrum De Romaanse Poort Leuven, 2002). For a list of publications, please visit:
Phillip Van den Bossche
Phillip Van den Bossche (°1969) studied art history in Ghent (BE), and attended the Curatorial Training Programme of De Appel in 1996/97 in Amsterdam (NL). He worked from 2001 as a curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (NL) and has been director of Mu.ZEE in Ostend (BE) since 2007. In recent years he curated exhibitions with amongst others Eric van Hove, Sammy Baloji, Lili Dujourie, On Kawara, Saddie Choua, Lucy McKenzie and forthcoming Richard Tuttle. He also wrote extensively about modernism, dada and surrealism, beside essays on the work of Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Allen Ruppersberg, Ger van Elk and Joe Scanlan. Since 2013 Mu.ZEE, the museum of modern and contemporary art in Ostend, is doing research on colonial and postcolonial histories closely related with re-thinking the archive, the collection and exhibition policy.
Partners & partner organisations
Hicham Khalidi is currently an associate curator for Lafayette Anticipations, Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris where he is involved in commissioning works in art, design and fashion. Next to this he is an interlocutor curator of ACT II for the Sharjah Biennale 13 in Beirut and working on a permanent public exhibition for the province of Flemish-Brabant. Khalidi was also one of the attaché curators of the 20th Sydney Biennale and main curator of the 5th Marrakech Biennale. From 2013 – 2015 he was the head of exhibitions at STUK Art Centre in Leuven, Belgium. Hicham Khalidi is a member of the board of q-02, Overtoon and SPIN, centres and collectives for contemporary music, performance and theatre based in Brussels. Khalidi lives in Brussels, and splits his time working in Paris and Rabat.
L’Atelier de l’Observatoire (Casablanca) is a space for art and research developing participative and socially engaged projects involving artists, researchers and the general public. To this end, the Atelier de l’Observatoire experiments with alternative approaches through different programs and formats such as talks, researches, workshops, exhibitions, trainings, film restorations, artworks productions and publications. Madrassa is a programme of residencies, meetings and trainings in contemporary curatorial practices for the North Africa and Middle East region, and the first of its kind. Madrassa targets students nearing the end of their studies and young professionals with experience of working for museums, universities, research centres, galleries, associations, reviews and independent art spaces and based in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.
The Department of Contemporary Visual Arts is part of the Ministry of Culture of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Its global task is to promote contemporary art, with respect to its diversity and various disciplines, at a professional level. It financially supports visual and digital artists, designers, stylists and creative artisans in their projects as well as institutions and associations active in these sectors. The department also contributes to the promotion of contemporary visual art by publishing the quarterly magazine l’art même, financing the weekly radio broadcast Le Monde invisible (RTBF-La Première), commissioning an exhibition of a visual artist during Art Brussels and an artistic project for the Venice Biennial. Moreover, it is currently developing a resource center conceived as an interface that will gradually draw an updated map of the ecosystem of the visual arts in French-speaking Belgium and beyond. In its reflexive dimension, it is meant as a tool for the development of international visits of artists, workshops by foreign curators, professional meetings or information sessions on topics of interest to artists, in order to meet their concerns.
Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI) is the agency responsible for the international relations of Wallonia and Brussels. It acts as an international policy instrument for Wallonia, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the French Community Commission of the Brussels Capital Region. Under agreements with 70 countries and regions, WBI supports creators and entrepreneurs from Wallonia and Brussels. WBI promotes the constituent parts of Wallonia and Brussels as entities empowered to act on the international stage and defends the values and interests of each of the parties in a spirit of cooperation and mutual support. Action is taken in the areas of: cooperation and development, human rights, culture, health and social affairs, environment, exchanges for young people, education and training, higher education, and scientific research.
Wallonie-Bruxelles International also acts through a network of delegations with diplomatic status in Algiers, Berlin, Bucharest, Dakar, Geneva, Hanoi, Kinshasa, the Hague, Paris, Beijing, Prague, Québec, Rabat, Santiago de Chile, Tunis, Warsaw and Brussels (Representation to the European Union).