Yto Barrada: Agadir opens in the Curve gallery, Barbican Centre, on Wednesday 7 February and runs until 20 May 2018.
For her first major London commission, Yto Barrada transforms the sweeping form of the Curve with a dramatic site-specific installation – including a mural, a new film commission, several sculptures, and a series of live and recorded performances – to consider how a city and its people might address the process of reinvention following disaster.
She takes as her starting point the hybrid novel-play by Moroccan writer Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine – Agadir (1967) – which reflects on the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of the modernist city of Agadir, Morocco, in 1960. Weaving together personal narratives and political ideals, Barrada presents a complex portrait of a city in transition.
Over the past two decades, Barrada’s multimedia practice has explored questions ranging from migration to abstraction, from fossils to botany. She examines the strategies of resistance employed every day in her native Morocco and traces the ‘hidden transcripts’ of objects and people in her work, guiding us through the overlapping realities and fictions of these narratives.
Alongside installation views and images of past works, this new publication will comprise of a text by exhibition curator Lotte Johnson and a conversation between Yto Barrada and renowned architect and historian Jean-Louis Cohen. The book is the seventh in a new publication series by Barbican Art Gallery that focuses on the Curve exhibition programme.
Image credit: © Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery, London/New York; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg; and Galerie Polaris, Paris