Friday, December 18, 2015

"Gradual Kingdom:" NYC Art Exhibit by Meriem Bennani

Here is a piece from the New York Times about an exhibition by Moroccan artist, Meriem Bennani at  Signal gallery entitled Gradual Kingdom.

Credit: Dan McMahon

Meriem Bennani’s ‘Gradual Kingdom’ Focuses on Morocco

DEC. 3, 2015

Meriem Bennani’s first show at Signal, “Gradual Kingdom,” might not be as funny as her other projects, which have appeared on sites like Instagram and included a reality show parody (now under actual development) about a hijab designer whose zany head scarves function as purses or Carmen Miranda-like apparatuses. Instead, this exhibition focuses on her hometown, Rabat, Morocco, and how it fits, sometimes depressingly, into global networks of commerce and real estate.

Near the gallery’s entrance are three rudimentary hologram machines — made out of televisions, glass panels and LEDs — displaying images of filtering sand, drifting rose petals and shattering glass. A narrow, floating staircase attached to one wall is coated with sand and leads nowhere. More sand is in the rear of the gallery, this time a pile with an elongated iPhone sculpture lying on it. Ms. Bennani’s home region has nearly been depleted of sand, which has been exported to build artificial islands in the Middle East and offset erosion at luxury beaches around the world. (The sand here comes from an industrial supplier across the street from the gallery.)