During recent years, a growing number of European and North American museums and galleries have hosted an unprecedented number of African and Moroccan art shows. The trend is expanding with global awareness that talented artists and art institutes exist in Africa and the diaspora. Marrakech has been announced as Africa’s cultural capital of 2020. Other African cities such as Capetown, South Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria are following suit to become major art hubs.
The next global city to showcase Moroccan art is Berlin. In 2019, Marrakech hosted the second edition of 1-54, a Contemporary African Art Show. Under the direction of Touria El Glaoui, the daughter of the legendary Moroccan fantasia painter, Hassan El Glaoui, the event brought in several dozens of major exhibitors. As a result, Moroccan artists continue to be exhibited in galleries throughout Paris, New York City, London, San Francisco, and other European cities.
On October 31, 2019, at 7pm, the German-Arab Friendship Association (DAFG), will showcase the photography of Hicham Benohoud and Hicham Matini in an event entitled “The Classroom-La Salle de Classe”. Although each artist represents a different generation, they both employ a surrealist approach. In a poetic synergy, the work of the two artists will come together and offer insight into the school lives and societal roles of Moroccan children. It will also show how the children are influenced by social media and the impact of these images in shaping their dreams, fears, and hopes.
Hicham Benohoud is a Marrakech born photographer who lives between Paris, Casablanca, and the red city. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, he taught plastic arts in Marrakech based colleges. As his career grew he moved to Paris to join the VU Gallery and later taught photography at Fresnoy, National Studio of Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing, France. He is the winner of the Photo Service in Arles and the “Visa for Creation” prize awarded by Cultures France. He also received wide recognition for his two monographs, “The Classroom” and “High school students by themselves” by Frances’ l’Œil Magazine. Since 1998, Benohoud’s work has appeared in galleries throughout the world including the Center Georges Pompidou, the Grand Palais, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Hayward Gallery in London, the Mori Museum in Tokyo, the Aperture Foundation in New York, the European House of Photography, and the Tate Modern. In Morocco, he is represented by Casablanca’s Loft Art Gallery.
Hicham Matini was born in Tahla, Morocco, and lives in Fes. He graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan (2014) has exhibited his work at the 5th Marrakech Biennale and the Museum of New Art Armada. His art explores the themes of borders, urban violence, and generational. “Nowadays, the media transcend the boundaries and distances between different human societies. While this role is considerable, the harmful impact of these can not be neglected. It is embodied in the massive distraction and idolatry created by the messages transmitted through the various media channels,” says Matini.
The event is part of a collaboration between the DAFG, the nonprofit organization Zuker, and Galerie Katharina Maria Raab. The DAFG is a non-profit association headquartered in Berlin. It was established in 2007 and works in the fields of economic, political, cultural, and media cooperation, between Germany and Arab countries.