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Deutsche Bank Once Again Main Sponsor of the Frieze Art Fair
Deutsche Bank sponsors Nedko Solakov show in the Ikon Gallery
Poland – Germany: Deutsche Bank Foundation supports exhibition in Martin-Gropius-Bau
Yto Barrada: Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year 2011 at WIELS
Max Bill’s "Continuity" in a New Location
Villa Romana Prizewinners 2012
Deutsche Bank Foundation supports spectacular Renaissance show at the Bode Museum
Expanding Consciousness: Carsten Höller at the Gerisch Foundation
Deutsche Bank Sponsors Baselitz Show at Galleria Borghese


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Yto Barrada: Riffs
Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year 2011 at WIELS

This spring, the Deutsche Guggenheim presented a major show of the poetic and politically minded works of Yto Barrada, Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year 2011 and the second artist to receive this distinction. After its premiere in Berlin, the exhibition Yto Barrada: Riffs travels to Brussels, where starting in mid-September, WIELS will present a selection of photographic works, sculptures, and installations. Following Wangechi Mutu’s show My Dirty Little Heaven last year, this is the second time WIELS is featuring a Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year. With its program of young international artists, the exhibition space is an important forum for contemporary art.

In view of the social turmoil currently gripping North Africa, the work of Yto Barrada, who was born in 1971 and lives and works in Tangiers, takes on a particular relevance. "My nervous system is linked to this place," the artist has said, and this close connection is expressed in all her works. For thousands of refugees from all over Africa, Tangiers, the Moroccan capital, is a place of hope. Europe, their goal, lies only a few miles away, but the closely monitored Strait of Gibraltar often presents an insurmountable boundary—not only for migrants, but since the Schengen Agreement went into effect in 1995, for Moroccan citizens as well. At the same time, this dazzling coast has become the center of a gigantic tourism industry. While the majority of Moroccans remain unable to leave the country, they are simultaneously confronted with the devastating effects the tourism boom and its attendant rise in construction on the natural environment.

In her photographs, Barrada employs an aesthetic that captures the randomness of existence; instead of dramatic events, she documents barely noticeable facets of daily life in a rapidly changing city within a tumultuous part of the world: children playing, empty plots of land, new building settlements, streets that slice into the pristine landscape. Her works invite the viewer to see these moments—and demand that they be looked at more closely. At the same time, Barrada’s art is about utopia, the hope of living together in a more responsible way and overcoming borders that have grown obsolete.

Yto Barrada: Riffs
September 24 – December, 2011
WIELS, Brussels

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