press release

Bouchra Khalili

In videos, photographs, and silkscreen prints she often assembles in complex installations that effectively form visual essays, the Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili weaves a kind of “alternative history.” Challenging our collective historiography, she outlines a history of the individual as narrated by its protagonists, who are members of social minorities. With these stories, which are told from generally neglected perspectives and challenge hegemonic narratives, Khalili prompts a discussion of the articulations between colonial, postcolonial history, and the current debates on global migrations. Her works, which scrutinize and seek to highlight strategies of resistance, community, and solidarity against the backdrop of a political philosophy, grow out of a keen interest in language, oral traditions, and subjective self-empowerment as well as explorations of geographical locations where these themes currently have considerable real-world effects or are still resonating in the present-time.

The artist, who is on this year’s shortlists for two internationally renowned awards—the Hugo Boss Prize and the Artes Mundi Award—has devised a lucid and formally precise visual idiom in videos and photographs that break new ethical as well as aesthetic ground at the forefront of contemporary documentary practice.

Bouchra Khalili’s first solo exhibition in Austria will showcase her video trilogy The Speeches Series (2012–13) and the mixed media installation Foreign Office (2015) as well as The Tempest Society (2017), a video premiered at documenta 14. The history of international solidarity forms the narrative theme running through the exhibition, with a particular emphasis on anti-colonialism and international revolutionary liberation movements that sought to strengthen socially marginalized groups and bring about their emancipation.

We are especially pleased to announce the Austrian premiere of the artist’s new film Twenty-Two Hours (2018).

Sunday, June 17, 12 noon: matinee at Stadtkino Wien followed by a conversation with the artist and curator and writer Rike Frank.

Bouchra Khalili was born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1975, and lives and works in Berlin.

Curator: Jeanette Pacher