• Marrakech Biennale 5: “Where are We Now?”

    Various Venues

    February 26–March 31, 2014

    Curated by Alya Sebti, Alexandre Kauffmann, Hicham Khalidi, Bouchra Khalili, Driss Ksikes

    Like many biennials today, the fifth installment of Marrakech’s bid aims to upend the political and artistic hierarchies of center and periphery and redefine relations between local and global. To assert the thousand-year-old city’s cultural import as a contemporary hub—rather than a hippie mecca of the 1960s and ’70s—the curators have invited thirty-two artists from sixteen different countries to produce (in five disciplines) commissioned and site-specific pieces that respond to the titular question, Where are we now? Embracing this dominant exhibition model—one that employs (not to say instrumentalizes) visual practices as a means to explore and debate social issues—the event clearly claims its global pedigree. The real challenge for the artists and organizers? How to negotiate such potentially homogenizing mechanisms and articulate the specific character of present-day Marrakech without contriving that identity themselves.