The "School of Casablanca" project

Exhibitions School of Casablanca, Think Art, Annexe de l'église du Sacré-Coeur, la Coupole, Parc de la Ligue Arabe, École des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca, until 14 January 2024, then from 15 February to 14 April 2024, ifa-Gallery, Berlin.

Initiated by the Think Art platform in collaboration with the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the "School of Casablanca" project brings together a number of exhibitions until mid-January 2024, using a wide range of archives to recontextualise the emergence of modern art in Morocco.

Under the impetus of Salma Lahlou, founder of the Think Art platform, and Krist Gruijthuijsen, director of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, several residency periods since 2020 have enabled contemporary artists, independent researchers and various curators to approach the legacy of the Casablanca group from three distinct angles: the democratisation of art, modernist and popular aesthetics, and artistic practice in everyday life.

As his predecessors Chabâa and Melehi did, meaning collaborating with the architects de Mazières and Faraoui on architectural integrations, designer Manuel Raeder works with the Mafoder group to create a series of ergonomic concrete sculptures that will find their place in the Parc de la Ligue Arabe, where most of the exhibitions are held.

Emphasis was also placed on the innovative educational dimension of the Casa group, in line with the alternative model championed by the Bauhaus before it. At the École des Beaux-Arts, a previously unseen video of Moroccan newsreels from 12 October 1962 bears witness to the wind of freedom that was blowing through the institution at the time.

To extend this reflection, a never-before-seen video by the duo Bik Van der Pol recounts a thirty-minute exchange with Bert Flint, as well as another fascinating video shown at the École des Beaux-Arts, 'School of Walking', in the company of Fatima Mazmouz, Hassan Darsi and Mohamed Fariji, inviting visitors to learn by wandering the chaotic streets of Casablanca.

Led by independent researcher Abdeslam Ziou Ziou, the installation "Berrechid 81: On the energy of an impeded movement" looks back at the anti-psychiatry experiment carried out at the Berrechid hospital by Doctor Abdellah Ziou Ziou, who invited a number of artists, including Abdelkebir Rabi and Malika Agueznay, to paint murals with the patients. Aside from the issues specific to the Casa School, this unprecedented initiative, which ended with the psychiatrist's forced departure and the removal of the frescoes, is examined here by various artists (Soufiane Biyari, Fatine Arafati, Sophia Attigui, Said Rami and the graffiti artist Grocco-Trick 54).

Grocco-Trick has created a mural for the occasion, using unusual materials (pigments, acrylics, brushes and markers), aware that the Berrechid experience reflects his concerns as a street artist.

– article Diptyque –

Photo: Nassim Azarzar, All Things Flow, 2023 Wallpaper, sound installation, poster. Variable dimensions. Sound installation: Reda Zniber Voices: Sophia Hadi, Boutayna Mjahed, Reda Zniber.