Yto Barrada


*1971 in Paris, France
Lives in
New York
Works with
Photography, film, publication, installation and sculpture

Paris-born artist Yto Barrada grew up in Tangier, Morocco. In her work, Barrada often returns to her hometown vis-à-vis the European border to analyse its architecture, history and culture. Barrada charts the lives of Tangier's inhabitants in a research-heavy and long-term series. She also co-founded and co-runs a cinema club in the city. In her series A Life Full of Holes – The Strait Project Barrada examines the role of the strait of Gibraltar that separates Morocco from Spain – a strip of water where thousands have died trying to make it to the European shores. Leaving room for the viewer's imagination, Barrada's work highlights the role of longing and hoping for a better life, as well as the losses experienced by the people of Tangier.

"The closing of Europe's common border to Moroccans coincided with the arrival of satellite dishes and DVDs in Tangier", she says. "So everybody was getting this rose-tinted vision of a European paradise that was forbidden to them. For a while, Tangier was a big existential waiting room."