BU Art Galleries exhibition features Moroccan artists

Safaa Mazirh, Amazigh series; Randa Maroufi – Nabila & Keltoum

Boston University Art Galleries (BUAG), the consortium comprised of the Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery, Annex, and 808 Gallery, is pleased to announce upcoming exhibitions. Serving the Boston University community, as well as the greater Boston and New England public, BUAG is committed to a culturally inclusive and interdisciplinary interpretation of art and culture. Located on the Boston University campus, the art galleries maintain an ongoing schedule of temporary exhibitions in four locations that focus on contemporary international, national, and regional art developments.

For the Spring 2019 season, Boston University Art Galleries presents Looking Out, Looking In: Contemporary Artists from Morocco, an exhibition that focuses on contemporary artists in Morocco in the Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery.

Looking Out, Looking In: Contemporary Artists from Morocco

February 8, 2019 – March 31, 2019
Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery

Opening Reception

Thursday, February 7, 6-8pm

Panel Discussion

Thursday, March 21, 6-8pm

Looking Out, Looking In: Contemporary Artists from Morocco brings together seven diverse Moroccan photographers and videographers for the first time.? Each works in a unique style and comes from a different background, but what links them is their exploration of how seeing is not always equated with knowing.? They recognize that the process of looking is a political act and seek to emphasize the ambiguity of meaning contained within the visual.? Some artists consider how Moroccan society is looked at by outsiders and confront the historical biases inherent in the colonial gaze.? Others imagine a world without borders, making sense of the boundaries that divide nation-states. Some consider aspects of Moroccan culture hidden from public view due to political oppression. Each uses their art to contemplate the moral and emotional experiences of looking in at oneself in response to looking out at the complex social issues that impact Morocco today.

The exhibition is curated by Cynthia Becker, Associate Professor of African Art, Boston University Department of History of Art and Architecture and Nadia Sabri, Professor of Art History and curator, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco.

The exhibition is co-sponsored with Boston University’s African Studies Center, the Boston University Arts Initiative, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilizations, and the Department of History of Art & Architecture.

Participating Artists

Hassan Darsi
Hassan Darsi’s practice is influenced by his daily life and environment, as well as social and political concerns. He engages with multiple mediums, and he often creates participatory works that confront issues of architecture, the city, and public space. Often working with cutouts and gilding, Darsi encourages reflection on both hiding and glorifying material worth. Darsi’s work explores Moroccan cultural heritage and simultaneously grappling with histories of colonialism.

Wiame Haddad
Haddad confronts the history of objects. She photographs letters, scissors, beads, and other small objects made by prisoners during their incarceration. Haddad uses the distancing mechanism of photography and a stark white background to highlight the fragility of objects, creating a narrative of effacement, a whisper of past violence, and the trauma of history.

Hassan Hajjaj
Hajjaj is known for his bold photographic portraits, brightly patterned garments, and vibrant frames. Hajjaj’s portraits reflect the globalized nature of contemporary Moroccan life and playfully creates a cultural mash-up that places local references in dialogue with global culture references.

Randa Maroufi
Maroufi uses photography, performance, and video to pull unexpected narratives out of globally known cities. Exploring the interstices, local stories about communities, narratives of displacement emerge. In these newly-liminal spaces, Maroufi highlights issues of gender identity, reflecting on the ambiguity of the body in public and private settings.

Safaa Mazirh
Mazirh’s approach is autobiographical, inspired by her daily life and family history. Her series entitled “Amazigh” refers to the indigenous people of North Africa and her heritage. Mazirh was fascinated by the meaning and symbolism of her grandmothers’ tattoos. Mazirh uses a multiple exposure camera technique, first drawing tattoo symbols on a wall with chalk and then standing in front of each design so that her body symbolically and pictorially converge with aspects of Moroccan cultural heritage.

Lamia Naji
Naji uses a series of black-and-white still photographs of a Gnawa ceremony to create an energetic and dynamic video montage choreographed to an original score of contemporary trance music. The photographs were taken at a Gnawa ceremony where music and incense are used to evoke spirits into possession, resulting in healing. Rather than presenting these healing rites in an ethnographic or documentary-style, Naji’s photographs feature unconventional angles and crops, urging us to recognize the constructed nature of the photographic gaze.

Nour Eddine Tilsaghani
Tilsaghani exhibits a four-channel video and large light box installation that emphasize the similarity of designs between tattooing and carpet weaving practiced by Moroccan women. Women weave the same geometric symbols found in tattoos into their wool carpets as expression of female creativity, communal values, and self-respect.



Looking at Morocco from Inside and Outside
Thursday, March 21
6 – 8pm
Stone Gallery

A panel discussion between curators Cynthia Becker and Nadia Sabri, who will be joined by participating artist Randa Maroufi will screen her video “Ceuta’s Gate” that confronts the complexity of border crossings between Morocco and Ceuta, a Spanish autonomous enclave in northern Morocco.


Boston University Art Galleries

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808 Gallery
808 Commonwealth Avenue

Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery
College of Fine Arts
855 Commonwealth Avenue

College of Fine Arts
855 Commonwealth Avenue

Tuesday – Sunday: 12-6pm
Closed Mondays and major holidays



Safaa Mazirh,
Amazigh series, 2017
Digital print on Hannemuele paper
30x 50 cm
Courtesy the artist and Galerie127, Marakesh, Morocco

Randa Maroufi
Nabila & Keltoum, color print, 2015
? ADAGP – 2018

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