Stuttgart, 23.01.2020 - The shining material of a coat, countless woollen threads in a headdress, a direct gaze – the portraits by the Moroccan-French photographer Leila Alaoui (1982–2016) put people very directly at the centre of the image. This exhibition is a retrospective of the artist’s work, showing four groups of works that were made between 2008 and 2015.
During her journey through Morocco, from Essaouira in the south west to Tangiers in the north, Alaoui took photographs of people in her own mobile studio – Moroccans in the exuberant capital city of Marrakech or people living quiet lives in the small settlements in the Atlas Mountains. In her series 'Les Marocains' (2010–2014), Alaoui was thus able to present the face of a whole region.
In her videos and photographs Leila Alaoui addresses issues relating to cultural diversity, migration and identity. In the series of photos entitled 'No Pasara', 2008, she turned her camera to people living on the margins of society. This became a reportage from a perspective that is rarely seen in the media. Alaoui portrayed the lives of refugees in the port cities of Morocco, Nador and Tangiers, hoping to find a crossing to Europe.
She explored the presence of the individual body by making large portraits of men and women. Faces fill the whole image in the 'Crossings' series, which was shown as a video in the ifa Gallery in 2015 as part of the exhibition 'Carrefour/Treffpunkt – The Marrakech Biennale and Beyond'. Her video 'L‘Île du Diable', which remained a fragment, looks at the 1060s generation of migrants to France, who gave a Parisian car factory nearby Paris the dubious nickname “devil’s island,” and who worked there until it closed down.
Leila Alaoui died in a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou in 2016. The extremist group al-Mourabitoun claimed responsibility. Alaoui had gone to Burkino Faso on behalf of Amnesty International in order to produce a photo series on women’s rights for the My Body my Rights campaign.
In cooperation with Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana and the Foundation Leila Alaoui.
Exhibition opening: Thursday, 30 January 2020, 19.00
Friday, 31 January 2020, 16.30 – 18.00
There will be the opportunity to enjoy an aperitif and talk with Christine Alaoui, mother of Leila Alaoui and chairwoman of the Fondation Leila Alaoui as well as Valérie Hammerbacher (ifa). In English
Informations on the exhibition:
Stefanie Alber, +49.(0).711.2225.161, ifa-galerie-stuttgart(at)ifa.de
Miriam Kahrmann, +49.(0).711.2225.105, presse(at)ifa.de