Now in full swing, the 6th Marrakech Biennale Not New Now includes artists from the Arab world, Africa, Europe and their diasporas. But as hoards of tourists flood into Marrakech Biennale’s five sites, locals get on with life almost entirely unchanged. In an effort to change that, this year sees street art at the Biennale for the first time.
Beautiful, engaging and totally free, the urban art now decorating the city bridges a gap between the Biennale and the local public. “The street art element is a necessity because it’s about a connectedness to the public,” says Reem Fada, the curator of this year’s Marrakech Biennale. “The Biennale is about engaging as many audiences as possible.”
Opposite the nineteenth century Palais El Bahia, on the wall that marks the old Jewish quarter of the city, street artist Giacimo Bufari, aka RUN’s piece depicts seven dancing figures and shapes. In the Medina, Remi Rough’s mural is a trompe l’oeil geometric stripe of bright blue that blends seamlessly with the Moroccan sky, cutting through the middle of a building in the souk. UK-based artist, “Dotmaster” painted a wall full of Moroccan roses – found in the desert the Moroccan rose is a famously resilient flower, rich in rose oil it’s used in perfume and cooking.
“For too long culture has been about the things that separate us,” Reem tells Amuse. “Art brings people together, not tears them apart.” The Street Art program, initiated by London-based Vestalia Chilton, curator at Attollo Art, brings 10 international street artists to the city for the first time.