MARRAKECH BIENNALE 5 has ended after 5 weeks – A record number of local, national and international visitors came by to explore the festival
Where Are We Now? This was the question the fifth edition of the Marrakech Biennale posed this spring, and hundreds of artists swarmed the city to answer. With works centred in four main venues – Palais Badii, Dar si Said, Bank al Maghrib and L’Blassa – as well as all throughout the city, artists explored Marrakech, its culture and its state in relation to that of the world through spatial installations, art pieces, film, sound installations, literature and more.
452 artists from over 25 countries, as well as 124 local craftsmen, drew in crowds of over 43,000, with roughly half of the visitors being Moroccan, to really investigate the question Where Are We Now? The Marrakech Biennale’s strength lies in instability: it is an open laboratory, revealing interstices and creating hyphens,’ explained artistic director, Alya Sebti, and it is precisely these interstices and hyphens which gave way to the dialogue that was the fifth Marrakech Biennale.
Founded by Vanessa Branson ten years ago, and curated this year by Hicham Khalidi, Khaled Tamer, Jamal Abdenassar and Driss Ksikes, the Biennale, which ran from February 26 to March 31, was the first of the Marrakech Biennales to incorporate works of four artistic disciplines: the visual and sound arts, performing arts, cinema and film, and literature, respectively.
The biennales main exhibition, as well as the 10 partner projects, 32 parallel projects and 25 fringe projects opened up several discussions – between art and the city, between one artistic discipline and the other – and gave space to delve into these discussions, with organised talks happening frequently.
The dense opening programme was especially exciting, with special performances, such as Freq-Out’s sound piece at the Theatre Royal, and Clara Meister’s Singing Maps and Underlying Melodies, which led visitors into the city and between the different venues, with the addition of a variety of Moroccan music.
Marrakech Biennale 5 – Where are we now?
26 February – 31 March 2014