Yto Barrada: Riffs
Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year 2011 at the Renaissance Society
||In view of the social turmoil currently gripping North Africa, the work of Yto Barrada, who was born in 1971 and lives and works in Tangiers, takes on a particular relevance. "My nervous system is linked to this place," the artist has said, and this close connection is expressed in all her works. After Wangechi Mutu in 2010, Yto Barrada is the second artist to be named Deutsche Bank's "Artist of the Year." With Riffs she realized her first solo exhibition in Germany. After its premiere at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, the exhibition traveled to Brussels, where the exhibition space WIELS presented a selection of her photographic works, sculptures, and installations. Now Riffs is on view at the Renaissance Society, one of the United States' oldest museums devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Founded in 1915 and located on the campus of The University of Chicago, the Renaissance Society presents four or five exhibitions each year, featuring both internationally and locally renowned artists like Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Arturo Herrera, and Thomas Hirschhorn.
In her photographs, Barrada employs an aesthetic that captures the randomness of existence; instead of dramatic events, she documents barely noticeable facets of daily life in a rapidly changing city within a tumultuous part of the world: children playing, empty plots of land, new building settlements, streets that slice into the pristine landscape. Her works invite the viewer to see these moments-and demand that they be looked at more closely. At the same time, Barrada's art is about utopia, the hope of living together in a more responsible way and overcoming borders that have grown obsolete. After its sojourn in Chicago, Riffs travels to furter renowned art institutions: IKON Gallery in Birmingham, MACRO in Rome, and Fotomuseum Winterthur.
Yto Barrada. Riffs
March 18 - April 22, 2012
The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago