The artists of the Casablanca Ecole des Beaux-Art under the directorship of Farid Belkahia, through their own personal practice as well as their pedagogy, tried to root the aesthetics of international modernism in a distinctly Moroccan idiom by using local referents. Following Moroccan independence in 1956, these artistic practices were interwoven with a deep commitment to postcolonial national culture and a clear anticolonial stance. These same ideas can be read in the exhibition history of this group of artists. Together, the exhibitions suggest an alternative cartography of modernism. This article focuses on five international exhibitions featuring these artists in order to trace the changing stakes of their internationalism: Deux Mille Ans d’art au Maroc (Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1963), Rencontre Internationale des Artistes (Rabat, Morocco, 1963), the First World Festival of Negro Arts (Dakar, Senegal, 1966), the International Meeting of Sculptors (Mexico City, 1968), and the Pan-African Cultural Festival (Algiers, 1969). The transnational relationships and growing solidarity with Third Worldism and Pan-Africanism evident in the exhibition history of the 1960s show the ways in which the transnational movement of ideas, artworks, and artists played a role in shaping the actions of precise national movements as well.
Holiday Powers; Articulating the National and Transnational: Exhibition Histories of the Casablanca School. Nka 1 November 2018; 2018 (42-43): 136–153. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-7185833
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