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Deutsche Guggenheim opens the exhibition "Yto Barrada: Riffs"


First solo museum show in Germany: “Artist of the Year” presents photographs, films and sculptures

From April 15 to June 19, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin presents an exhibit of photographs, films, sculptures by the 2011 “Artist of the Year,” Yto Barrada. Riffs is Barrada’s first solo museum show in Germany; her past exhibitions include the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Venice Biennale.

For more than a decade, Yto Barrada’s work has engaged with the social and political realities of North Africa. “After the Kenyan Wangechi Mutu last year, we have again selected an artist who is focusing on major questions of global society,” said Pierre de Weck, member of Deutsche Bank’s corporate management and chairman of the corporation’s “Global Art Advisory Council,” adding: “Yto Barrada’s work has always been visionary—and in the context of the recent historical changes in the region, feels even more topical. This is another reason why she is the ideal ‘Artist of the Year’.”

Barrada’s work revolves around life in her home city Tangier, Morocco, situated on the Strait of Gibraltar, and its particular situation, emblematic of the radical historical changes taking place in many North African countries. "I’ve always been attentive to what lies beneath the surface of public behavior,” says Yto Barrada. “In public, the oppressed accept their domination, but they always question their domination offstage. Subversive tactics, strategies of class contestation, forms of sabotage used by the poor – this is what I am most interested in.”

With the title of the show, “Riffs,” Barrada refers simultaneously to the musical term, to the Cinéma Rif, home of the Tangier Cinematheque, which she directs, and to the nearby Rif mountains, a stronghold of anti-colonial insurgency in Morocco.

Yto Barrada: Riffs was conceived by Friedhelm Hütte, Global Head of Deutsche Bank Art, and Marie Muracciole, freelance curator and art critic.

The accompanying catalogue with text contributions by Okwui Enwezor, Friedhelm Hütte, Marie Muracciole, and Daniel Soutif, as well as an interview with the artist conducted by Negar Azimi, is in English and German and available for 35 euros.

As Deutsche Guggenheim Edition No. 55, Yto Barrada created the artist’s book, A Guide to Trees for Govenors and Gardeners (2011), exclusively available in a limited and signed edition of 350 + 25 A.P. copies in the Deutsche Guggenheim SHOP, +49 (0)30-20 20 93 -15/ -16.

Lectures and events
There will be a lecture program in conjunction with the exhibition, including, among others:
April 15, 2011, 7 p.m.: Panel A Modest Proposal: Yto Barrada, Catherine David (curator), Okwui Enwezor (Global Art Advisory Council of Deutsche Bank), Bouchra Khalili (artist), and Hito Steyerl (Professor of New Media at the University of the Arts Berlin), moderated by Marie Muracciole (Co-curator of the show);

April 28, 2011, 7 p.m.: Artist’s talk: Yto Barrada and Jean-François Chevrier (art historian and critic)

Guided tours
Free guided tours are offered daily at 6 p.m. The popular Lunch Lectures are held each Wednesday at 1 p.m. and deal with individual topics of the exhibition. The offer is rounded off by the ‘I like Mondays’ Lectures, each Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Press photos
Photo material can be downloaded at

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