Yto Barrada, Landslip, Cromlech de m’Zora, from The Strait Project, 2001, Courtesy Galerie Polaris

Beaux Gestes

Yto Barrada

A Space Main Gallery

May 22 – July 11, 2015

Curated by: Scott McLeod, Vicky Moufawad-Paul

This project is co-presented by A Space Gallery and Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in partnership with the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival

Beaux Gestes is a dual-venue exhibition that features many of the artist’s most recent photographs and video installations.

The work of Yto Barrada addresses the complex geopolitical relationship between Morocco and Europe, emphasizing its often adverse social, psychological, and economic effects on Morocco’s citizenry while foregrounding the people’s resourcefulness and ingenuity. Combining documentary strategies with a metaphoric approach to imagery, she has created a compelling body of work that inquires into the daily traces of the significant changes currently taking place in North Africa. In particular, she engages with the circumstances of her hometown of Tangier, situated on the Strait of Gibraltar and transformed into a dead end since the 1991 Schengen agreement in Europe. These circumstances elicit actions from the city’s inhabitants that may be seen as beautiful, if often futile.


Yto Barrada was born in 1971 in Paris and currently divides her time between Tangier, Morocco, and New York. She studied political science at the Sorbonne (Paris) and photography at the International Center of Photography (New York). As Deutsche Bank’s 2011 Artist of the Year, she received a major travelling exhibition titled Riffs; most recently, she exhibited her work at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Whitechapel Gallery (London) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York). The cofounder of the Cinematheque de Tanger, she received the 2015 Abraaj Group Art Prize. She is represented by Galerie Sfeir Semler (Hamburg/Beirut) and Galerie Polaris (Paris).

Scott McLeod is an independent writer and curator based in Toronto. The founding director of Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, he focuses on contemporary practices, with a specialization in photographic, media and digital art. With the support of the Ontario Arts Council, he is currently writing Land and Its Discontents, a book of collected essays on the relationships between art, property and spatial politics.

Vicky Moufawad-Paul is a Toronto based curator and writer. She is the Director/Curator at A Space Gallery. She has curated exhibitions at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Carlton University Art Gallery, Gallery 101, MAI: Montreal arts interculturels, Latitude 53, Museum London, McIntosh Gallery, Contact Photography Festival, InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, A Space Gallery, and 16 Beaver. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MFA in Film and Video from York University. Moufawad-Paul has published texts on several artists including Harun Farocki, James Luna, Emily Jacir, Wafaa Bilal, Paul Dennis Miller, Deirdre Logue, Mohammed Mohsen, Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Basil AlZeri, Erica Lord, John Halak, Rehab Nazzal, Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, Akram Zaatari, and Yto Barrada.