Bouchra Khalili “The Mapping Journey Project”

The Museum of Modern Art

poster for Bouchra Khalili “The Mapping Journey Project”

This event has ended.

The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor

Bouchra Khalili: The Mapping Journey Project is an installation comprising the artist’s complete set of eight videos produced from 2008 to 2011. The Mapping Journey Project details the stories of eight individuals, forced by political and economic circumstances to travel illegally, whose journeys have taken them across the Mediterranean basin, from their original homes to their current places of residence. Khalili encountered her subjects by chance in transit hubs across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Following an initial meeting, the artist invited each subject to narrate his or her journey and trace it in thick permanent marker on a geopolitical map of the region. The videos feature only the voices of the subjects and their hands sketching their trajectories across the map, while their faces remain unseen. Each video is presented on an individual screen, with eight screens positioned throughout the public space of the Marron Atrium. In this way, a complex network of migration is narrated in the voices of its subjects, while refusing the forms of representation and visibility demanded by systems of surveillance, international border control, and the news media. Shown together, the videos function as an atlas for an alternative geopolitical map, defined by the precarious lives of stateless people. Bouchra Khalili: The Mapping Journey Project is organized by Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, with Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.

Khalili (b. 1975), a Moroccan-French artist currently based in Berlin, has been working with video, photography, drawing, and installation for over a decade. She often deploys and retools the tropes of documentary cinema to redirect the conventions by which citizens and subjects are asked to present themselves before the state, using testimony, portraiture, and political speeches. Khalili’s work was previously featured at MoMA as part of the 2011 film series Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s to Now.

MoMA acquired The Mapping Journey Project in the spring of 2015, and is the only institution to hold the complete series of eight videos.

Bouchra Khalili: The Mapping Journey Project is part of Citizens and Borders, a series of discrete projects at The Museum of Modern Art related to works in the collection offering a critical perspective on histories of migration, territory, and displacement.



from April 09, 2016 to August 28, 2016


Bouchra Khalili

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