Friday, November 21, 2014

International Photographic Exhibition in Fez

The work of 14 international artists will be on show in Fez during the eighth edition of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photo de Fès. On the theme of "Invisible Cities", the exhibition opens on Saturday November 22 and runs until December 15
One of Swiss artist Regula Bochsler's still images from Rendering Eye

As part of Saison France-Maroc 2014, organised by the French Institute in Fez, the exhibition will be displayed across several venues. The work has been curated by Selva Barni and Francesca Girelli from Italy. "The theme is inspired by Italo Calvino's classic book from 1972, Invisible Cities", says Selva Barni. "It is about more than physical portraits of places - it's about the underlying layers; the city as memories."

Calvino's Invisible Cities consists of a sequence of imaginary dialogues between the Venetian traveler Marco Polo and the Tartar emperor Kublai Khan. In the course of these discussions, the young Polo describes a series of cities, and discusses Cities and Memory, Cities and Desire, Cities and Signs, Thin Cities, Trading Cities, Cities and Eyes, Cities and Names, Cities and the Dead, Cities and the Sky, Continuous Cities, and Hidden Cities.

Exhibition curators Selva Barni and Francesca Girelli from Italy
The majority of the world's population now live in cities, and the way residents experience the urban landscape varies tremendously. The diverse work of the14 artists who have contributed to the exhibition reflect this. "They are artists who use the photograph as media, rather than being principally photographers," explains Selva.

Swiss artist Regula Bochsler
One of the artists is Swiss based Regula Bochsler who has used the Apple 3D mapping program to create a series of impressionistic portraits of cities, titled Rendering Eye. "Apple started a mapping service in 2012," she says. Created by flying over major cities, the images consist of exposures from multiple points of view, which are then combined using software.

"They offer a bird's eye point of view, but as they are taken over a period of time, anything which is moving is not visible," she says. "So it's like seeing those cities after the blast...we have never seen a representation of the world we live in in this form."

Another artist, Heba Amin from Egypt, uses video and soundscapes for Speak2Tweet. While the viewer is visually transported through empty buildings, the soundtrack gives Twitter texts in Arabic (with subtitles), from the time that Mobarak shut down the internet for a week, to try and silence dissent, in a display of despotic power. Resourceful Egyptians set up a system where phone messages were converted into Tweets, and they are a vivid record of attempts at resistance.

One of Heba Amin's images from Speak2Tweet
Contributing photographic artists also include Peter Steinhauer/US; Raed Yassin/Libya; Andre Principe/Portugal; Felicity Hammond/England and Li Mu/China.

Li Mu, Sol Lewitt’s Untitled (Wall Structure), 2011

Rencontres Internationales de la Photo de Fès includes other activities, such as photography workshops led by local photographer Omar Chennafi.  "In search of hidden treasure Fez" aims to help young people discover the art of photography.

Rencontres Internationales de la Photo de Fès runs from November 22 to December 15, 2014. 
It takes place at the French Institute Gallery; Gallery Kacimi; Cultural Complex Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef; Dar Tazi at Batha - the base of the Association of Fez Saiss. 

Opening: Saturday, November 22, 6 PM, Galerie Kacimi, 26 Avenue Moulay Youssef, Ville Nouvelle

Guided tours of exhibitions: Sunday, November 23, 3 PM

Meeting and discussion with the artists and the two curators: Sunday, November 23, 5.30 PM at the French Institute, Dar Batha. 

More info: CLICK HERE

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