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The 4th International Biennial of Casablanca curated by Christine Eyene will be entitled Tales from Water Margins. The theme is inspired by Ifitry (near Essaouira) the biennial’s residency, a place for reflection and artistic experimentation facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is also informed by Morocco’s geographic location at the crossroad of the Maghrib, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, and by the country’s historical relationship with notions of travel and transit – from 14th century traveller Ibn Battuta, one the world’s first geographers, to the current position of Morocco as one of the gateways to, and gatekeepers of, fortress Europe.

The curatorial project will also build on Eyene’s research and interest in the history and contemporary experiences of insular territories like Reunion Island, (pre-Brexit) Britain and Japan. The title of the biennial comes from recent travels to Tokyo and an encounter with cultures from the Edo era (between 1603 and 1868). Among the literature and prints that emerged from this period was Suikōden or Water Margin, an adaptation and illustrations of a 14th century Chinese novel attributed to Shi Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong chronicling the prowess of outlaws operating from a marsh-edged mountain, fighting against tyranny during the Song dynasty, with a strategic relation to topography similar to the ones later found in Maroon resistance.

Without literally referencing the adapted novel, the biennial borrows one of its translated titles as a metaphor for the current state of spaces that exist at the margins of what is considered cultural mainstreams. In this respect, it will also propose to examine interconnections between islands and the power relations at play in their interactions with mainland territories.

Tales from Water Margins will take the form a multidisciplinary ‘laboratory’ encompassing thinking processes, spaces for reflection and creation at Ifitry, as well as exhibitions of existing and newly commissioned works in Casablanca.

The 4th International Biennial of Casablanca welcomes submissions from artists working in the following medium: painting, print, photography, sculpture, installation, performance, sound and new media.

Download the application form here

Applications should include:

. a letter introducing the artist’s practice and how the submitted work meets the theme of the biennial

. the application form duly completed

. a curriculum vitae

. two recent photographs

. five colour reproductions of recent works (at least three dated 2017). Each reproduction will be accompanied with a complete caption, including technique and date of creation.

. copies of articles and critical texts on the artist’s career, to which can be added previous exhibition catalogues.

These documents will not be returned to the artist after the Selection and Orientation Committee’s proceedings. They will be deposited to the biennial’s resource centre.

The submitted work should not have been exhibited at any recent Moroccan biennial or international exhibition.

Application deadline: 31 March 2018.

For further information visit www.biennalecasablanca.ma or contact the biennial office at info@biennalecasablanca.ma.

Lire cet appel à candidatures en français