Under the patronage of His Higher Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Moroccan National Foundation of Museums presents the first edition of Rabat Biennial arts, organized in the capital of Morocco, from September 24th to December 18th, 2019, and designed by the historian art and philosopher Abdelkader Damani, general commissioner guest.
Entitled One Moment Before the World, the curatorial proposal of this first edition aims to redefine art and its paradigms starting from the South and Rabat, designated "City of Light" and cultural capital of Morocco. Thanks to the dialogue between disciplines - ranging from visual arts and architecture to dance and performance - the biennale opens a reflection on the urgency of creation, examining the reasons, the revolts, and the decisive moments that drive artists to take action and contribute to the story.
Considering the Biennial as a possible inventory of the world of tomorrow, the General Commissioner has decided to decline this moment in front of the whole world in the form of an archipelago. Worn by dedicated women and men, it is composed of an international exhibition and a triptych of white cards. In addition, throughout the event, cultural and performative programs as well as urban art and related programming were performed in harmony of one another.
On the occasion of this first edition of the Biennale, the Moroccan National Museums Foundation will focus mainly on Urban Art.
The president of the Moroccan National Foundation of Museums, Mehdi Qotbi, says: "With the Biennial of Rabat, our capital shall have a solid and creative laboratory dedicated to all forms of art, thought as a tool for reflection for artists from around the world. This event will, we are sure, quickly become one of the major international events for its active participation in the rewriting of art history emerging from the South.
For several years, the Moroccan National Museums Foundation has been developing a strong support for the practice of street art and urban arts. In the continuity of such dynamics, the street artist and young Moroccan artists will realize a set of works at Park Hassan II by the time of the opening of the Biennial.
Women in A Moment Before the World exhibition
The international exhibition, dedicated to women artists, is taking place in several cultural places in the city of Rabat. Together, it brings 63 artists and groups of artists from 27 different nationalities and varied disciplines.
Among them, artists and painters (Mona Hatoum, Etel Adnan, Marcia Kure, Ghada Amer, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Amina Benbouchta, Candice Breitz), sculptors (Sara Favriau, Ikram Kabbaj), filmmakers and videographers (Tala Hadid, Habiba Djahnine ...), choreographers, directors and performers (Bouchra Ouizguen, Séverine Chavrier ...), photographers (Deborah Benzaquen, Mouna Jemal Siala) and digital artists (Naziha Mestaoui), but also architects (BLACK SQUARE, Manthey Kula, Zaha Hadid, Maria Mallo ...).
Among the highlights of the Biennale, a vibrant tribute will be paid to the Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum, the first artist selected by the Commissioner, through the projection of her mythical concert in Rabat in 1968 as a preamble to the entire exhibition.
An invitation is sent to women writers, novelists, poets, composers around a parliament of writers, which will bring together nearly 50 artists under the aegis of Sanae Ghouati, professor at Ibn Tofail University and the Tunisian novelist Faouzia Zouari.
Narjiss Nejjar, director of the Moroccan Cinematheque, will present a cinematographic program, master class, discussions with directors, to understand the conditions of the new world's narrative. "Cinema is in life and life is in the cinema," says Narjiss Nejjar, adding that "to welcome a film is to restore a part of oneself, often unknown to us or sometimes denied. "
Rabat is the first guest of the Cultural programming and mediation
Two seminars will be conducted throughout the Biennale; Acting on The Definition of Art, the first meeting around this issue will take place on September 27, 2019. The scientific direction of the debate entrusted to Nadira Laggoune, director of MAMA in Algiers; Subversive Tenderness, December 17, 2019, scientific direction of the debate by Abdelkader Damani.
The mediation courses propose a wandering of the Biennale, both physical and fictional, the walk from one place to another will follow a simple retinal logic unfolding in a ternary chromatic cartography: white, brown and blue. The three colors of Rabat.
The cultural program will be presented throughout the programming of the Biennial theater, music concerts, and art workshops, etc.
The city of Rabat is celebrated as the guest artist of the Biennial along with the creation of a course designed according to the "colorimetry" of the city and its emblematic historical sites such as: Fort Rottembourg (Borj Lakbir) overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Rabat or the museum and the Oudayas site. For three months, the Biennial of Rabat invests the artistic high places of the city such as the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI), the Villa des Arts, the Espace Expressions CDG and the exhibition spaces of Crédit Agricole and the Banque Populaire.
Both as a modern capital and a historic city, Rabat has been declared as one of the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites since 2012. It is the result of a fruitful bond relating the Arab-Muslim past and the Western modernism.