Yto Barrada

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Yto Barrada (born 1971)[1] is a French multimedia visual artist living and working in Tangier, Morocco and New York City. With producer Cyriac Auriol, she is artistic director and co-founder of the Cinémathèque de Tanger.[2] She is also a member of the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation.

Early life and education[edit]

Barrada was born in Paris. She is the daughter of French journalist Hamid Barrada. She studied history and political science at the Sorbonne in Paris and photography at the International Centre of Photography, New York.


In 1998 Barrada began a work she titled the Strait Project, describing the static and transitory life of her hometown of Tangier.[3] Her photographs depict a city where thousands of immigrants attempt to make the illegal and perilous journey across the Strait.[4]

Barrada created a book, A Life Full of Holes – The Strait Project, whose title was taken from a story told by Larbi Layachi. It was published by Autograph ABP in 2006. Also in 2006, Barrada was awarded the first Ellen Auerbach Award in Berlin.

Barrada presented a number of exhibitions of photography and video, including Witte de With (Rotterdam), Fundaciò Tàpies (Barcelona), Jeu de Paume (Paris), Haus der Kunst (Munich), the Kitchen (New York), the MoMA (San Francisco and New York), Bonner Kunstverein, Modern Art Oxford, and Centre Pompidou, the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale "The world belongs to you at the Pallazio Grassi].

Her 2007 work, Iris Tingitana, showed the meeting of the botanical and urban landscapes, and Flowers,[5][6] illustrates the effect of the monocultural vision of planners and developers on the fast-growing edges of the city.[7]

In 2011, she was awarded Artist of the year 2011 by the Deutsche Bank and in April 2011, she had a solo exhibition untitled Riffs at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2011), that was scheduled to open in September in Wiels, Bruxelles, and next June in Ikon, Birmingham.

Barrada published "RIFFS" with Hatze Kantz and the limited edition A Guide to Trees for Governors and Gardeners with the Deutsche Guggenheim. A monograph on her work was published by JRP Ringier in 2013, with texts from Marie Muracciole, Juan Goytisolo, and a photographic essay by Jean-François Chevrier.

In 2016 Barrada presented an exhibition at The Power Plant in Toronto, Ontario, depicting issues and images of post-colonial Morroco.[8]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • La courte échelle (ou l’échelle des voleurs) – Studio Fotokino, Marseille, 2013
  • Mobilier Urbain – The Pace Gallery, London – 2012
  • Riffs – Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin – 2011
  • Women Artists in the Collections of the National Modern Art Museum: elles@centrepompidou – 2011
  • Play – Galerie Sfeir Semler, Beyrouth – 2010<
  • Uneven Geographies – Nottingham Contemporary – 2010<


  • Godfrey, Mark; Demos, TJ; Weizman, Eyal; Hameed, Ayesha: "Rights of Passage" Tate Issue 19 (2010)
  • Demos TJ: "Life Full of Holes" Grey Room no. 24 (2006) pp. 72–88
  • Downey, Anthony. “Yto Barrada, ‘A Life Full of Holes: The Strait Project’ ”, "Third Text", vol. 20, Issue 5, (2006), pp. 617–626


  1. ^ "Yto Barrada, artist and art". Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Butts in seats: an experiment in re-creating the culture of cinema in Tangier" A lecture by Yto Barrada (2010)
  3. ^ Tazi, Nadia (2007). "The State of the Straits". Artefall (16): 91–106. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Skye Sherwin (22 December 2011). "Artist of the week 169: Yto Barrada". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "That Unruly, Serendipitous Show in Venice", The New York Times 15 June 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  6. ^ Flowers posters; Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Yto Barrada Riffs". Deutsche Guggenheim. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "At the Power Plant, a souk with a point of view". Toronto Star, Murray Whyte Oct. 31, 2016.

External links[edit]