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Villa Romana Fellows 2014 - International Artists Live in Florence
AxME - Ellen Gallagher at the Tate Modern
In the Urban Jungle - Hou Hanru Curates the 5th Auckland Triennial
The Golden Rider: Lenbachhaus Radiates New Splendor - supported by Deutsche Bank Stiftung
Imran Qureshi in New York´s Metropolitan Museum
Beyond Borders - Arab Female Artists at the ZKM
Master of Institutional Critique - Deutsche Bank Foundation Sponsors John Knight Project in Portikus
A Fantastic Journey - Wangechi Mutu in Sydney and Durham


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Beyond Borders
Arab Female Artists at the ZKM

Belvedere – beautiful view. Yto Barrada chose this poetic title for her three-part photo series from the Deutsche Bank Collection. The black-and-white photographs show people standing in front of a quay wall and gazing out at the open sea. Initially, these figures seen from behind recall Romantic landscape painting. But the situation the “Artist of the Year” 2011 captures here is scarcely romantic. The people are not enjoying a pleasant view, but are looking towards a continent they will probably never set foot on. On account of the Schengen Agreement, residents of the Moroccan city of Tangier, where the artist photographed the series in 2001, are not allowed to cross the 13-kilometer wide Straits of Gibraltar legally. Every year, dozens of people die trying to transverse the narrow channel between Africa and Europe to find a better future in the north.

Barrada’s at once laconic and impressive series is now on view in the exhibition Cross-border at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. The show presents works by contemporary female artists from the Arabian Mediterranean region who engage with cultural, political, and territorial borders. Cross-border presents a region whose art scene is currently arousing international interest. It is not only since the beginning of the Arab Spring that countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Lebanon have been in a state of political and cultural upheaval. The artists featured in the exhibition reflect this in very different ways. Many move between different worlds, between North Africa and Europe, indigenous traditions and Western modernity. The Cairo-born artist Anna Boghiguian, who with her sketch-like drawings was represented at the 13th documenta, regards herself as a nomad. She combines figurative elements and texts to create a kind of visual diary. With her works, Faten Rouissi reacts directly to the political unrest in her home country Tunisia. In performances, she transforms cars set on fire in the revolutionary strife into art objects. While the photographic works of the Libyan artist Arwa Abouon, who lives in Canada, deal with the role of Moslem women, Bouchra Khalili’s videos from her “Mapping Journey” series are concerned with the destiny of migrants whose fate is determined by territorial and political borders.

More filmic works from the Arab Mediterranean region can be seen in Berlin in September. The festival Doku-Arts will show artistic documentary films that work with visual archive material. Yto Barrada is represented again, with films and as the founder of the Cinémathèque de Tanger, which since 2006 has been of the region’s few non-commercial  institutions devoted to film culture.

Cross-border. Contemporary Female Artists from the Arabian Mediterranean Region
April 27 – September 8, 2013
ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe

Second Hand Cinema – Perspectives for Artistic Documentaries

September 11 – September 29, 2013   
Zeughauskino German Historical Museum, Berlin

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