A poetic journey through Casablanca’s design scene
Iconic City: Loading… Casa, an exhibition curated by Salma Lahlou, will showcase the iconic city of Casablanca by providing a non-linear of Casablanca, where archival images, sound recordings, a short film, a monumental drawing and contemporary photography will amalgamate. The exhibition will incorporate five major axes: Transhumance, Mutation, Counter-culture, Amnesiac memory, and Hedonism.
The Artists and works on display include:
Interior Architect and Photography
Zineb Andress Arraki was raised in Casablanca. Her award-winning work combines architecture, photography, sculpture, and video. Her recent solo exhibition, Casablanca CH2O is the result of three years of research.
Arraki links the cities of Casablanca and Dubai by revealing the similarity of their urban and architectural approach, audacious projects, and endeavours to become incubators of innovation through a series of diptyches.
Aicha El Beloui is an illustrator, graphic designer, and creative director living and working in Casablanca. Trained as an architect, she began her artistic practice to express an obsession with citizenship, public spaces, belonging, freedom, and the individual in the Moroccan context.
Aicha will translate Casablanca into a graphic mural landscape within which the exhibition content will sit.
Mostafa Maftah lives and works as an artist in Casablanca. Maftah’s paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, and performances exhibit a quest for individual and collective memory in streets and on walls.
Maftah’s work, ‘Feu en Océan,’ or ‘fire in the ocean,’ is made using traditional weaving techniques, and is the first and only tapestry made by a Moroccan man.
Hicham Lasri is a writer, graphic designer and activist living and working in Casablanca. He has produced plays, movies, and short films on YouTube to promote social awareness among Moroccans. His movies have been selected for the Berlinnale in 2014 and 2017, and for Acid Cannes in 2012 and 2013.
Hicham Lasri has produced Casablanca!, a visual poem in honour of his city, which includes many spaces that no longer exist, showing how every city is an ephemeral space that shrinks from view, from our memories and our lives a little more each day.
Anna Raimondo lives in Brussels and works internationally. She has participated in several international exhibitions and festivals. She is co-editor of the radio and sound arts’ platform Saout Radio, based in Morocco.
Sonically translating the intimate transhumance of Casablanca, Anna has archived fragments of the city’s resistance and negotiation with traditional Morocco, integrating residents’ anecdotes with the sounds and stories of the music group Nass El Ghiwane.
Mohamed Tangi is a Casablanca native, and his passion for the city began thirty years ago, when he converted his home into a treasure of books, posters, cinema, music, photos, and pictures of Casa. He played an active role in the ongoing rehabilitation of the Casablanca Medina.
Objects from Tangi’s personal collection will be shown outside of Casablanca for the first time.
Five major axes for the exhibition:
Transhumance: Progressively polycentric, Casablanca saw its population migrate within the urban space in pace with socio-economic ascension. In order to adapt, the city invented its own model of auto-regulation.
Mutation: Moroccans have traditionally defined themselves by their tribes, but in Casablanca the phenomenon of diversity first appeared, forging a new Casablancan identity. In three months, one can claim the city as one’s one, without objection.
Counter-culture: Casablanca has given rise to a culture that is at odds with Morocco’s rigid traditions, habits and customs. Artists render profane that which has been considered sacred assuming the right to appropriate it, reinterpret it, and take every liberty with regard to legacy. As writer/curator Omar Berrada rightly says, "The popular heritage is like a living body, an agent of permanent cultural renewal".
Amnesiac memory: Not a single commemorative plaque, inscription, nor stele exists to inform visitors about the people who created this city. Casablanca cultivates the obligation of oblivion: a tomb without an epitaph.
Hedonism: the Casablancans are distinguished by their desire to work hard and take full advantage of life. With the largest tower, swimming pool, and cinema in Africa, hedonism has become a characteristic of the Casablancans.