The International Biennale of Casablanca has announced a new partnership with FRAC RÉUNION (Fonds régional d’art contemporain de La Réunion) as part of the participation of six Reunionese artists at the 5th edition of the biennale, scheduled 24 September to 1 November 2020.
The artists are: Jean-Sébastien Clain and Yannis Nanguet (aka Kid Kréol & Boogie), Brandon Gercara, Christian Jalma (aka Pink Floyd), Gabrielle Manglou and Myriam Omar Awadi.
This intergenerational selection reflects the wide range of contemporary artistic practices in Reunion Island, a territory which cultural heritage stretches between France, the East African coast, islands from the Indian Ocean, India and China.
The works presented at the biennale will address a variety of topics specific to Reunion Island while being at the heart of current decolonial thoughts. This will include an exploration of the island’s founding myths, the history of slavery, colonisation and independence struggles, in ways that propose a new reading of the past in light of the present, and vice versa, drawing from both traces or storytelling, and memorial objects.
To Floyd‘s metaphysical thoughts and cosmogonic universe, embodied in installation, sound art and performance, will respond the art of Kid Kréol & Boogie whose works on paper, sculptures, murals and interventions in the public space deal with an ancestral content in a contemporary manner.
Drawings, photographs, volumes, archival images and Moroccan women’s traditional knowledge will feed into Gabrielle Manglou’s new creations. Myriam Omar Awadi will expand her field of research in the Comoro Islands to study the history of the Debe, an ancient Comorian ceremony exclusively female, inspired by Arabic literature, born at the beginning of French colonisation in the mid-nineteenth century.
Finally, the performative art of Brandon Gercara will propose a new approach to gender narratives through a critical study of the dynamics of domination in a postcolonial context.
Myriam Omar Awadi’s residency in the Comoros receives additional support from FRAC RÉUNION. The other 5 artists will be hosted in Morocco for a research period in Casablanca and a creative residency at Ifitry (Essaouira region). Floyd’s residency is organised in collaboration with Lerka – Space for Research and Creation in Contemporary Arts (Saint-Denis de la Réunion).
The 5th International Biennale of Casablanca is curated by Christine Eyene and a curatorial committee formed with support from New Art Exchange. The committee members will be announced between January and March 2020. The list of artists from Reunion Island adds to the first selection announced last October. The final selection will be announced in December 2019.
The International Biennale of Casablanca is an initiative from Fondation Maroc Premium.
Image: Gabrielle Manglou, série Météores, 2017. Impression sur dos bleu, 91 x 125 cm. Courtoisie de l’artiste.