Commissioning Exile Pavilion
I have often been asked the question: How do you see yourself as an artist? My answer has always been the same: I consider myself an immigrant worker. My job is to consider what it is to be an artist, when the artist feels different from their own cultural context, even when in their own role.
“Out of exile, I created glasses to see.” I wrote this sentence in 1998. Since then, I have asked myself about exile, or more precisely, it is exile that asks about me. Since I voluntarily left Morocco, I have lived with the acute awareness of separation, displacement, and the weight of identity. So I began an approach of permanent displacement, affirming this in several personal artworks and exhibitions, including “Art of War” (ADN Platform, Barcelona, 2014), “Permanent Exile” (MAMCO, Geneva, 2015), “Art in Exile” (Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, 2015), and more recently, as exhibition curator of the “Layover 1” at Musée des Archives nationales, Paris (2016).
With this permanent need to think of exile, the Exile Pavilion was born, a travelling project that offers a parallel cartography, a free geography of temporary exhibitions, with stop-offs in different countries. The project proposes exile as a new space to be rethought, reinvented, and finally invested in. The pavilion thinks about the global and local links between various forms of displacement, whether the migrant worker’s situation, the expatriate, or the refugee; the exile of war, natural disaster, economic problems, or political or racial persecutions.
The Exile Pavilion wants to cross all boundaries, revisiting the experiences of the exiled and reactivating their traces through history. Where does exile begin and where does it end? From whom are we exiled?