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Morocco, 10th edition of the Awaln’art Festival

Olivier Grossetête, ZUR, AOC and Ex Nihilo – four French troupes took part in the Awaln’art street festival in Marrakech, for four diverse and complementary artistic proposals.
The 10th edition of the Awaln’art street arts festival was held on April 22 to May 8, 2016 in Marrakech. This year it has become a biennial event to accompany the Marrakech Biennale, to give new thought to the city.
This 10th edition of Awaln'art, including international artistic encounters in public areas, has been organized with three objectives in mind, those of creating an impulse and encounters with regard to the permanent of art works at the heart of public areas in the city, continuing the partnerships set up in the last ten years of Awaln’art and bringing about strong, mutual multidisciplinary artistic exchanges both of a Pan-African and North-South nature.

Olivier Grossetête, Construction et déconstruction

With Construction et déconstruction, Olivier Grossetête established a true link between the street arts festival and the Contemporary Art Biennale of Marrakech. He was the project manager of a construction-performance inviting the public to take part and help each other in a plastic arts production of impressive dimensions. Giant structures were raised, put together by the public, mounted progressively level by level, to reach 39 to 72 feet high.
Born in Paris in 1973, Olivier Grossetête lives and works in Marseille. He uses diverse materials and modes of expression, including ephemeral sculptures, urban actions, subversive collages and short humorous films. He also creates monumental projects in public areas.

Groupe ZUR, In Corso, 1er mouvement

The plastic and video work of the ZUR Group took over the building of the former canning factory for a singular work and dialogue with the public. This area became the location and surface for projections, screens and perspectives, to evoke transformation, going from one state to another.
This included a vertical and horizontal glimpse; a mosaic of different images, colors and lights on the vaulting of one of the mail rooms; men, white lights moving infinitely along the walls; windows became thresholds to be crossed; passageways between spaces. Since 1984, ZUR (Zone Utopiquement Reconstituée – Utopically Reconstituted Zone) considers the act of creation as an opportunity for adventure and experience, working with shows in the most unexpected venues, where pictorial and cinematographic forms dance with theatrical and sound forms.
Since 1984, ZUR has been bringing together individuals who take pleasure in inventing, together as a group, the act of creation is considered as an opportunity for adventure and experience. For this, he sets up his shows in unexpected locations, and imagines, in situ, actions that react to the locations of the presentation.

Vadrouilles, from AOC

Forever seeking new interactions between an artistic proposal, the area in which it is located and to whom it is destined, AOC offered circus performances that can be modulated and regrouped under the name of Vadrouilles (meaning “jaunts”).
A troupe comprised of artists from the circus world, with 15 years of experience, AOC, a group from the Aquitaine Region of France, defines itself as a perpetual project centered on sharing ideas, with a concern for being accessible to everyone and for engaging in relations with the public. By way of such intrusions, AOC wishes to set out to meet the public, make it feel at home, in a familiar area and ‘‘positively disturb’’ its environment by setting up circus equipment. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate real circus savoir-faire, where a highly technical gesture transformed by a choreographic approach has become the troupe’s true trademark.

Compagnie Ex Nihilo, Le Nom du Lieu

The Ex Nihilo troupe, with 20 years of experience dancing in the streets of France and around the world, gave an in situ dance performance in the Kasbah. On the walls, porches, in cracks in the street, a district, images, dancers and live music were superposed. Filmed in peripheral districts, where nature still contests seeing its territory undergo strong urban development, and in the center of cities being transformed, dancers were confused with reality. Spectators were invited to choose their perspective by moving about in a new décor, following or anticipating the movement of the dance, sometimes even making up the stage itself. Travel was evoked by the grace of dance and instantaneous images from another world, when projected onto walls, creating gaps and windows in cities, here and there.
Founded in 1994, Ex Nihilo has made a choice, for 20 years now, that of working outdoors. It does not represent a mere shift in the art location. It is not a question of shifting/dropping off outside a form created inside – but one of touching the experience of an encounter with an area, whether urban or natural, or entering into a relation with others, whether a passerby, inhabitant or spectator, all at the same time.

Photo : Olivier Grossetête, ​Pont volant © DR