Cinémathèque de Tanger: Explorations in Film & Video

29 Sep – 26 Nov 2006

This exhibition was part of a London-wide celebration called Paris Calling: a series of contemporary art from France.  Monitors positioned in the gallery and café space at 5 Newport Street created an intimate and social viewing platform for a wide range of work from French speaking countries in the widely-defined ‘Arab world’.

"This exhibition transforms The Photographers' Gallery into a trans-Arab video library showcasing video and film work produced, and unearthed, throughout the diverse and complex cultural, political and social space of the Arab world. A world that now spans from Beirut to Paris to Los Angeles and back again. 

“Works are presented through monitors in the gallery space, as well as special Thursday late-night screenings and a series of events at Curzon Soho. The programme is loosely based around six sections - Coasts and Nomads, Territory: Urban Landscape and Peripheries, Here and Elsewhere, Pop Culture, A Little History Factory and Lover's Discourse: Fragments

“The 30 artists and filmakers - young and established, formal and experimental - engage on many levels with the concept of 'modernity'. They employ what Pasolini might term a 'desperate vitality' based not on nostalgia but a conception of a heterogeneous reality - referred to by him as 'the force of the past'.

“The films and videos are from the Cinémathèque de Tanger'scollection. Based in the old Cinema Rif building, it overlooks the Grand Socco, the historic central square where the old city (the medina) meets the new in Tangier, Morocco. As a new artist-run theatre for independent film and repertory cinema, talks and workshops, the Cinémathèque will also house a unique archive of contemporary, documentary and vernacular film work.

“In addition, the exhibition includes documents, photographs and architectural drawings relating to the Cinémathèque, the city of Tangier and the state of movie theatres in Morocco. 

“Guest-curated by Cinémathèque de Tanger co-programmer and video artist Bouchra Khalili and CdT founder and photographer Yto Barrada.

“Exhibition programmed by Christine Van Assche, Senior Curator at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and organised by The Photographers' Gallery in association with Paris Calling: a series of contemporary art from France.

“Artists featured include: Hicham Falah and Mohamed Chrif Tribak (France/ Morocco) Akram Zaatrai (Lebanon) Nassim Amaouche (France/ Algeria) Laura Waddington(UK) Tala Hadid (Morocco/ USA) Ali Essafi (Morocco) Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas (France/ Lebanon) Abu Ali (Spain/ Morocco) Brahim Bachiri (France/ Morocco) Kader Attia (France/ Algeria) Rashid Masharwi (Palestine) Dominique Dubosc (France) Omar Amiralay (Syria) Carole Contant (France) Maria Karim (Morocco) Danielle Arbid (France/ Lebanon) Yousry Nasallah (Egypt) Rabih Mrouhe (Lebanon) Katia Kameli (France/ Algeria) Myra Maakaron (Germany/ Lebanon) Wael Nourredine (Lebanon) Mouir Fatmi (Morocco)”

– text taken from Great magazine number 67