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Marrakesh Biennale takes to exalted venues

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Marrakesh Biennale takes to exalted venues

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Artist Gabriel Lester’s disembodied Gnawa musicians is one
of the expected hits of the Marrakesh Biennale of contemporary art which celebrates its fifth edition this year, under the banner question “Where are we now?”

The Red City has invited more than 40 Moroccan and international artists to show their works in some of the most emblematic venues around the city such as the Baadi Palace, the Royal Theatre and other historic private houses.

Alya Sebti, the event’s Artistic Director, says the aim of this Biennale is to trigger renewed interest in the sites through subtle and clever placing of art.

“We really tried to be humble, respect the whole magnificence of this cultural heritage and through contemporary art make small interventions, small enlightenments of bits and pieces of these palaces to show, to help people discover or rediscover this cultural heritage,” Sebti told us.

In response to the Biennale question “Where are we now?”, a group of artists has imagined an installation made of garbage that they have collected from nearby areas.

The artists from the Z’bel Collectif want to highlight the huge amount of trash generated in Marrakesh and the need for environmental policies to tackle this problem.

“This room where we are now corresponds to the current reality in which we currently live. That is to say a reality were we are surrounded by rubbish but we do everything we can not to see it. In fact if we saw reality such as it is, our rooms and our houses would be just like this,” says one of the artists, Othman Zine.

This year the Marrakech Biennale encompasses art, video, live performances and film. It includes 35 commissioned works, 450 contributors, 41 official artists and 10 parallel projects which are put on by independent arts organisations.

The Marrakesh Biennale runs until March 31.

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