Material Insanity at MACAAL, Marrakech

Material Insanity at MACAAL, Marrakech

The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakech, will host a group exhibition titled Material Insanity running from February 26 to September 22, 2019.

The exhibition will feature works by over 30 artists including Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco), Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana), Frances Goodman (South Africa) and Nari Ward (Jamaica) that explore varying mediums as a theme. The resulting works include new site-specific pieces commissioned by MACAAL. Through installations made from everyday objects, the exhibition will combine various aesthetics that result in discourse.

Material Insanity hopes to react to a growing interest in contemporary art directed towards a focus on transient or intangible artworks, often seen as a reaction against globalization and consumerism. This can be seen in works such as Clay Apenouvon’s (Togo) stretched black plastic film, Owanto’s (Gabon) embroideries exhumed from the collective memory and Cyrus Kabiru’s (Kenya) material reinvention of electronic waste in the form of sculptural eyewear.

“Through immersive scenography created by architect and artist Zineb Andress, the exhibition questions the relationship between form and meaning across diverse countries and cultures today, confronting the spectator with the reality of social responsibility as an urgent necessity,” the museum writes. “Reinvisioning materials often associated with trade and waste as artworks, artists including Nari Ward (Jamaica), Beya Gille Gacha (Cameroon), Fatiha Zemmouri (Morocco), M’barek Bouhchichi (Morocco), Hassan Bourkia (Morocco) and Malek Gnaoui (Tunisia), use materialism as representations of memory, migration, societal expectations and tradition. Through their selected media they expose traces of many individual journeys and histories, illuminating the multiplicity of stories within the contemporary climate.”

Considering the trade and environmental effects of mass production and commercialism in countries across Africa and the diaspora, many of the works also consider materialism in the context of environmentalism, and the impact of materiality on the world and its future.

The exhibition invites a critical analysis of past and present society by accentuating the practice of contemporary artists as well as exploring the act of re-materialization in response to cultural devaluation in a digital era.

Material Insanity is curated by Meriem Berrada, Artistic Director at MACAAL & Head of Cultural Projects at Fondation Alliances and Janine Gaelle Dieudji, Exhibitions Director at MACAAL.

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