Dar El Bacha, the Marrakech medina’s favorite photo gallery will present a unique series of black and white prints by the talented Lamia Naji. The Casablanca born artist was raised in a multicultural family. Her mother is French and her father Moroccan and growing up this meant she was immersed in a world of many languages and mixed identities. A theme of exploring identity, creating bridges, and highlighting the overlaps between cultures is present in all her work.
In the vernissage presenting her handmade series “I LOVE CATS”, on October 25, 2019, Naji will share her experiences living in a Madrid art residency between the years 1997 and 1999. “The best way to talk about everyone is to talk about yourself,” shares Naji. The prints declare her joy to live in the Spanish city and her fondness for Madrilenians or “Gatos”, the inhabitants of Madrid who enjoy the nightlife. The exhibit demonstrates her attempt to show the parallels of her Spanish life with her the celebratory music of Essaouira’s Gnawa artists. She was previously commissioned to photograph the coastal Moroccan town and captured the ethnic group’s music and lifestyle in a serendipitous acquaintance. The exhibit captures Naji’s endless quest to unite the world in a way that transcends gender, religion, and nationality.
Lamia Naji was born in 1966. She has exhibited widely in Morocco and Europe. Her work was presented, by Galerie El Marsa, at various art fairs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Miami, and at the Paris Photo 2009 at the Carrousel du Louvre. She also participated in events worldwide at Nederland’s Foto Instituut, the Musseum Voor Volkenkunde in Rotterdam, the Guggenheim Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona in 2002, and The Stenersen Museum in Oslo in 2007. Naji’s art has also been featured at many Biennales such as the 2nd biennale of the museum du Quai Branly in Paris (2009), and the Athens Photo Festival in 2008.
The Dar El Bacha Gallery is located in the Marrakech Medina and specializes in Moroccan and Orientalist art. In particular, it is known for its major exhibitions on Moroccan textiles and produces reference catalogs. It was established over 10 years ago by the well known antique dealer Khalid Guarib who launched the gallery from his desire to promote photographers as artists. The Dar El Bacha collections are made of trips to Paris, London, and Venice.
The exhibit will run from October 25-January 12, 2019.