Bouchra Khalili. In Girum

November 23, 2019 – August 31, 2020

Curator: Eva-Maria Gillich

With her work
In Girum, designed for the facade of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Bouchra Khalili makes reference to the n.b.k. Video-Forum, the oldest and one of the largest video art collections in Germany. Khalili is particularly interested in the political and emancipatory potential of the medium. Since the introduction of the portable video camera in the 1960s, films can be produced autonomously and affordably. Using phosphorescent letters, Khalili quotes the title of a 35-mm film by Guy Debord from 1978: In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni; English: “We wander in circles at night and are consumed by fire.” With the film’s title, which goes back to a palindrome attributed to Virgil, Khalili refers to the political concept of the Situationist International masterminded by Debord, and his technique of dérive – an experimental exploration of the environment through aimless wandering. With this quote, Khalili encourages us to reflect on consumer society and capitalist alienation, while bringing interaction with the urban space into focus and alluding to the critical potential of the moving image.

Bouchra Khalili (*1975 in Casablanca) studied film studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and fine arts at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy. She has received numerous awards, including Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas and Imagination Fellowship (2019–2020), the Ibsen Award (2017), the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2014), the Sam Art Prize (2013), the DAAD Scholarship Berlin (2012), and the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics Fellowship (2011–2013). Solo exhibitions (selection): Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2019); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2018); Secession, Vienna (2018); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); MACBA Barcelona (2015). Group exhibitions (selection): Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2019); MAXXI, Rome (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2017); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2015); The New Museum, New York (2014). Khalili participated in documenta 14 (2017) and the art biennials in Marrakech (2016), Sydney (2012), Venice (2013), Moscow (2013), and Sharjah (2011).