press release

In the carpet investigates exchanges between centers in Europe and in Morocco with the mutual influences between the practices of art and craft.

This exhibition addresses stories with multiple time frames, from Bauhaus to nowadays and unveils the resonances between traditional Berber carpets and contemporary art. The narration starts with the emblematic figure of Sheila Hicks who traveled to Morocco in the early 70’s to encounter traditional weaving practices.

Historical pieces are exhibited as a testimony of the formal dialogue between Berber carpets (Zemmour and Béni Ourarain) and the Bauhaus figures of Anni Albers and Gunta Stölzl. They also encounter the Group of “L’Ecole de Casablanca,” with the artwork of one of its founding member Mohammed Melehi. Created in 1964, the Group of L’Ecole de Casablanca defines an aesthetic language liberated from a euro-centered art history by drawing its inspiration from the plural histories and cultures of Morocco.

The exhibition engages with the polysemous definitions of carpets—object and representation, physical and mental space, territory, form and technique, gesture and performance, such as: Souvenir: la lecon de géométrie (2015) created by Saâdane Afif. These encounters highlight the complex phenomena of superposition or fusion, the exchanges between cultures and countries and underline the overlaps between contemporary art and traditional practices.

A hint of return or reinvention? The result of reciprocity or a tale in the tale? Yto Barrada reinterprets a carpet inspired by the Dada artist Sophie Taeuber Arp with traditional Moroccan technics, while Amina Agueznay’s artistic practice, in collaboration with weavers, unfolds signs and patterns affiliated to craft.

In the carpet is part of a cooperation project of Akademie Schloss Solitude and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA). Following a five-month residency in Akademie Schloss Solitude and an exhibitions at ifa-Galerie Stuttgart (October 28–December 18, 2016), the exhibition will be at ifa-Galerie Berlin from January 20 to March 12, 2017.

With Saâdane Afif, Amina Agueznay, Anni Albers, Yto Barrada, Sheila Hicks, Mostafa Maftah, Mohammed Melehi, Gunta Stölzl and anonyms Moroccan Masters.