press release

Yto Barrada. Faux Guide
May 27, 2016 - August 27, 2016
Opening reception on the 26th of May, 7-9pm
in the presence of the artist

BEIRUT- Sfeir-Semler Gallery is happy to announce the opening of Yto Barrada’s new exhibition, Faux Guide, on May 26th, 2016. Following her first show in 2010, Yto have went on to win the 2011 Deutche Guggenheim Artist of the Year award, the 2015 Abraaj Group Art Prize, and is a nominee for this year’s Prix Marcel Duchamp. Her work has been collected and shown at major museums around the world such as Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), Guggenheim (Berlin), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Wiels Art Center (Brussels), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museo de Sao Paolo, the 2007 & 2011 Venice Biennales and the 2016 Marrakesh Biennale 2016. In 2015, she had solo exhibitions at the Serralves Museum (Porto) and Carré d’Art (Nimes).

Faux Guide is the result of several years of research which debuted with the film, Faux Depart, first shown in Dubai as the 2015 Abraaj Group Prize winner. The project was initiated when the artist became interested in an auction of the oldest Moroccan dinosaur skeleton in Europe. This led to a further inspection of the thriving Moroccan fossil and mineral trade, which has attracted scientists and tourists alike to excavate this rich pre-history, and along with them, are the swarms of dilettantes and charlatans coaxing buyers with forgeries and counterfeits.

Barrada takes the role of the amateur collector, of the storyteller, looking at this buried petrified world with wonder and curiosity. The show has all the constructs of a natural history museum, with geological studies, topographical dioramas, as well as models of ancient imprints and reconstructions of found skeletons. Yto captivates the viewer with poetic marvels and colorful sculptures, installations, and photos. However, it is all composed of false discoveries that have been given legitimacy through rigorous collecting, documenting, and display. Barrada shows the often whimsical side of how fiction can be altered into reality as history becomes a commodity.