Two North African artists were invited to Switzerland to speak about their work: one who meets the necessary visa requirements to enter the country and one who doesn’t. These two scenarios, to be presented at the Belluard Festival, are the starting points for a story that isn’t afraid to touch upon our collective prejudices and the controversial question looming behind its creation:
Will the visiting artist overstay his visa after his talk to start a new life in Switzerland?
Presenting both of the following scenarios will allow Belluard Festival visitors to experience two different possible outcomes that reflect upon the realities of border crossing.
SCENARIO 1 An artist was invited to Switzerland, but he did not fulfill the visa requirements.
SCENARIO 2 An artist was invited to Switzerland, and his visa application was accepted.
For Scenario 2, an artist talk will be held on Sunday, June 28th at 8pm titled:ART PRACTICE BEYOND THE FENCEor why the artist may overstay his visa to start a new life after this talk.
In addition to the artist talk, both of these scenarios will be incorporated into separate but identical exhibition spaces at the Belluard Festival, where each artist’s body of work is exposed in documentary form, and the spectator is confronted with the curatorial underpinning for each given situation.
Upon entering the festival, spectators are assigned a number, the significance of which will be revealed once inside the two exhibition spaces. Each space will unveil a number leading to a different outcome based on the status of the artists’ visa applications.
In the rejected artist’s space, the selected number will send a visitor to North Africa to the artist talk of Mohamed Arejdal, held in his home.
In the accepted artist’s space, the holder of the selected number will be asked to host the above mentioned artist talk with Mohammed Laouli in their own home, taking into account both the political sensitivity of the project’s underlying questions and the artist’s own motivations.
Borders are plural, so any project dealing with the questions they raise must be too.
The artist talk with Mohammed Laouli will take place on Sunday, June 28th at 8pm in a private apartment in Fribourg.
CREDITS Documentary pictures by Juliette Chrétien. Additional installation views by Youssef Ouchra, Javier Melian, Francisco Alejandro, Chourouk Hriech, Aziz Nadif, Mohssin Harraki, and Ly Mamadou.
THANKS For sharing your insights on the Moroccan contemporary art world: Siham Halli, Dr. Mehdi Zouak, Bérénice Saliou, Younes Rahmoun, Mohammed Laouli, Mohamed Arejdal, Maud Houss, Touda Bouanani, Randa Maroufi, Hassan Quazzani, Mohamed Fariji, Léa Morin, and Marie Moignard.
SUPPORT This project is a Random Institute production for the Belluard Bollwerk International, supported by Migros Kulturprozent and Kanton Fribourg. The on-site display is supported by Ernst & Olga Gubler-Hablützel.
The initiative was spontaneously born during late 2013 when three people discussed the possibilities of opening a Parisian soup kitchen to feed anyone at all who wanders the streets—adventurous local residents, the homeless, lonely tourists, and individuals associated with Samusocial de Paris, an NGO specializing in emergency social aid.
The result was the three day event, À Table, that brought together a wide range of people to join in eating. Guests were seated across from strangers, whom they otherwise would never have met nor shared an intimate moment with. The initiative was spearheaded by Juliette Chrétien in collaboration with Random Institute, chmara.rosinke, and Maurice Maggi.
Juliette Chrétien runs her own photography studio and is well known for her photographs in the fields of interior design and fashion. In addition, Juliette is highly acclaimed for a new style of culinary books.
The mobile kitchen, which includes a large table and stools for 12 people, was hand-crafted by the renowned Austrian design duo chmara.rosinke. For this modular kitchen, they won the 2012 Outstanding Artist Award from the Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture in Austria.
Maurice Maggi is a guerrilla gardener from Zurich, Switzerland, who is known for his subversive seed-sowing "attacks," as well as his cooking skills and food knowledge. Maggi’s passion for food has taken him as far away as New York, where he ran his own restaurant. During his days in Paris, he found ingenious ways to cook tasty meals with ingredients from the local market.
In March 2014, Juliette Chrétien published the associated publication in a limited edition (4 handmade publications).
The initiative took place from December 27th to 30th, 2013 around Cité des Arts Paris.