THE TEAM - Artistic Direction
Amine El Gotaibi
Amine El Gotaibi graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts of Tetouan in 2008 and has become an iconic member of the Moroccan contemporary art scene. The artist incorporates a variety of disciplines into his large-scale projects that cross both space and time, while also using traditional forms: drawing, video, painting, installation, mechanical engineering, and travel. These all serve as the foundation for Visit à Okavango.
In early 2020, during a residency at the Nirox Foundation in South Africa (not far from Okavango), Amine El Gotaibi created a sort preamble to this project, the ambitious Sun(W)hole_piece cradle 1: a meter-long mud wall pierced with a hole that represented an appeal to rise above inertia. In October 2019, during the Young Congo Biennial, he created an original monumental installation, Ba moyi ya afrika (The Suns of Africa), composed of a dozen spotlights — like suns illuminating the continent. This was an extension of explorations around questions of territory he began in 2016 with Attorab Al Watani (National Territory), a participatory work extending across all of Morocco that he presented during the COP22 in Marrakech.
This examination of the geopolitical relationship between territories allows the artist to tackle the universality of submission, as shown in several of his exhibitions: Perspective de brebis (2018), developed during the Al Maqam residency; and Perspective de séduction (2019), created during a residency at Dar Moulay Ali, a historic palace and former French military headquarters under the protectorate.
His works, which are generally immersive, poetically question hegemonic powers, such as La prédation ne croit pas à la mort! (2012) — presented during the inauguration of the Mohammed VI Museum in Rabat in 2014. The Arab Spring gave rise to Arène de la soumission (2014), supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture starting in 2012. This project attracted the attention of the Arab World Institute, which provided the funding needed for its completion and included it in the Contemporary Morocco exhibition in 2014.
After ten years spent in the army, it was in the cinema that Faiçal Ben found freedom of expression. His philosophical vision,his mastering of techniques and constant fieldwork have allowed him to rate among the most talented young Moroccan filmmakers.
Faiçal has directed two experimental films: Décalage (2015) and Confusion (2016), and a first short fiction film Alter Ego (2016) with Younes Bouab in the leading role. Ales is his second short film. He is currently participating as director in the 2nd edition of Shoot Your Face.
Currently, he is finishing the filming of the feature-length documentary Cercles and in the process of post-producing his third short film Femme à Clefs (2019). Faiçal is also preparing the script for his first feature film Barzakh, which was selected during the writing-in-residency Meditalents (2018), at the Rabat International Authors’ Film Festival and at Global Media Makers & Independent Film in 2019.
Élisa Ganivet holds a PhD in philosophy, is an Art Historian and Arts Manager. She began her career in 2003, co-producing art exhibitions including: Rembrandt: An inspiration for Goya; Calder: form and dream; Picasso: Hommage to a bullfighter; Miró: garden of wonders; and Passionate Dali.
Her research in Aesthetics explores the mechanisms of utopian ideas and practice via field studies, as The Utopian City in India; Spain in the post-Franco Era; Berlin Gentrification, and Inspiration in Tangier.
Based on her PhD, her books: Esthétique du mur géopolitique, PUQ 2015, Border Wall Aesthetics: Artworks in Border Spaces, Transcript Verlag 2019 examine the historical and contemporary attachment of a hundred artists to the concept of the border wall. Ms Ganivet presented her analysis on national French radio channels (France Culture, France Inter) and at La Colonie Cultural Centre (Paris). She is a member of the Borders in Globalization Review Committee at the University of Victoria (Canada). Her essays have been published by Québec University Press; Presses du Réel; the Transart Institute; the Grimm Museum Publications in Berlin and she is recently writing for Artpress.
Elisa works as a consultant and independent curator with private collectors, museums and cultural institutes (Berlin, Barcelona, New York). She collaborated in the development of Kader Attia’s editorial line, a Franco-Algerian artist, around the notions of Repair and postcolonial issues.
Rachid Benyaagoub graduated from the Tétouan National School of Fine Arts, where he has taught since 2010. He is a multidisciplinary artist whose work combines drawing, video, and installation. His visual and artistic approach lies at the crossroads between performance and consumption, focusing primarily on people’s relationship to technique and its social, cultural, and behavioral manifestations in order to question capitalism’s specular illusions.
Starting with his work Marocode (2013), he challenged the contemporaneity of a world torn between tradition and modernity, using embroidery and the QR code to create a flag that is both sublime and ambiguous. Enjoy your show (2015) aims to reframe all that has escaped framing so far, not to revive marketing tactics, but rather to understand and deconstruct them to create a pictorial purgatory of the transition towards a society that is free from the spectacle and its simulacra. A sort of re-examination that he carefully developed in his Tamis VR installation (2020).
Technological changes, along with the digital, modern, and contemporary narratives that have obsessed our civilization since the beginning of the third millennium, are at the heart of this artist’s explorations.