Yto Barrada

In my written feedback for assignment four, my tutor suggested that I look at Yto Barrada’s exhibition Faux Guide.

Faux Guide appears to be Barrada’s own personal museum.  Her exhibition showcases a plethora of “specimens”, including but not limited to, fossils (both real and fake), drawings, paintings, photographs and children’s toys.  The specimens direct the viewer to consider the ongoing geological exploration and exploitation of Morocco (the country in which the artist was born).

Having seen the photographs of this exhibition online, I really wish I could have walked around the real thing and seen the “specimens” close-up and in detail.  It looks absolutely fascinating.  One of the things that I particularly liked about Faux Guide, was Barrada’s use of colour.  She used colours from the geologic timescale to represent time.  For example, she colour-coordinated the rugs on the floor, with a paint on the closest wall, and the colour inside the associated specimen drawers.  It really tied the whole exhibition together.  Another thing that I found interesting was Barrada’s use of traditional geological equipment, for example, the traditional specimen drawers and modern sample bags.  I enjoyed how she mixed these items with non-geological items (e.g., the children’s toys or models).

Overall though, what I loved most about this work was the mixture of real and fake.  It reminded me strongly of Fontcuberta’s Fauna series; only where Fontcuberta worked with images, Barrada works with objects.  It is definitely something to consider as I work towards finishing my kusudama project for assignment five.