The Showroom

On Focus: Communal Knowledge at Large

1-54 Forum
20 - 24 February 2020
La Mamounia, ESAV and Le18
Marrakech, Morocco


The Showroom is excited to announce our guest curation of 1-54 Forum in Marrakech, Morocco.

This year’s series of panels, artist talks, screenings and performances, under the title On Focus: Communal Knowledge at Large, will interrogate the institutional possibilities of engaging with local communities on artistic projects, based on The Showroom’s Communal Knowledge programme.

For almost a decade, Communal Knowledge has developed experimental practices and conceived collaborative projects that have addressed social and political matters affecting The Showroom's immediate environment, while advocating for international trans-disciplinary forms of art and education. Generating playful and experimental reflections on social issues at stake in The Showroom’s local context, this pioneering programme has brought together different initiatives around art and social justice incorporating long-term research projects into existing community activities.

Conceived as a framework to hold debates on critical concerns arising from different contexts, On Focus: Communal Knowledge at Large will explore the power of art in formulating awareness of, and giving visibility to, issues that have both local and international resonance.   

1-54 Forum will become a platform to interrogate multiple practices of socially engaged art, leading to the production of a new roadmap of organisational and institutional collective methodologies between artists, activists, institutions and community organisers. 



Thursday 20 February

11:30 - 13:30 at ESAV - 'Curating as Collaborative Practice: The Fictional Marrakech Biennale': A speculative exhibition history exploring the performative attempt behind the formulation of The Fictional Biennale, an artist-driven project which questions the role and agency of artists in the absence of particular platforms of display. 


Saturday 22 February 

12:45 - 13:00 at La Mamounia - Introduction to the 1-54 Forum programme with Elvira Dyangani Ose

13:00 - 14:30 at La Mamounia - 'Context As Source': Christine Eyene and Jan Goossens, Marie-Ann Yemsi in conversation with Elvira Dyangani Ose

14:45 - 15:45 at La Mamounia - Artist Talk: Kiluanji Kia Henda

19:00 - 22:00 at Le 18 - 'Disguised as a Dancefloor': A performance made of improvised happenings focusing on the politics of bass, the subversive role of loud music and their effect on the body.


Sunday 23 February

12:30 - 14:00 at La Mamounia - Artist talk: Katia Kameli

14:30 - 15:30 at La Mamounia - 'Curating as a Collaborative Practice: Dream City': Festival director Sofiane Ouissi and artistic director Jan Goossens lead a session delving into the concept and the materialisation of the bi-annual contemporary arts festival in Tunis.

16:00 - 17:30 at La Mamounia - 'Enacting Agencies': Hansi Momodu-Gordon, Carlos Perez Marín and Francesca Mayoreo will discuss models and methodologies for community based and peer-to-peer engagement projects.

19:00 - 20:00 at Le 18' - À L’épreuve du Tamis': Curator Fatima-Zahra Larissa and participating artists will discuss the entanglement of concepts and traditions surrounding the project, which aims to explore different approaches to material and immaterial cultural heritage and knowledge within Moroccan contemporary art. 


Monday 24 February 

11:00 - 13:00 at La Mamounia' - Curating as Collaborative Practice: Communal Knowledge': Elvira Dyangani Ose will lead a workshop between students of École Supérieure des Arts Visuels, local practitioners and other members of the public to observe, debate and participate in a dialogue between three case studies that look to their immediate context and the communities that inhabit them.

Image: Caravane Tighmert, Ahmed Dabah. Courtesy Carlos Pérez Marín.
(Related event: Enacting Agencies on Sunday 23 February: 16:00-17:30)


1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is the first leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Founding by Touria El Glaoui, the fair holds annual editions in London since 2013, New York since 2015 and Marrakech since 2018. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, 1-54 is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange.

For the 2020 edition in Marrakech, 1-54 has selected 20 leading galleries from 10 countries (Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and the United Kingdom) to exhibit at the third edition of the fair. It will showcase the work of more than 65 artists, both emerging and established, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical locations comprising 20 countries.

1-54 Marrakech will be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, the fair’s extensive talks and events programme, which will include artist talks and panel discussions with international curators, artists and cultural producers, to be held at La Mamounia, ESAV and Le 18 in parallel to the fair. For the 2020 Marrakech edition, 1-54 Forum will be curated by The Showroom and take its methodology from the organisation’s programme of engagement with its local north-west London community, Communal Knowledge. Nurtured by the insightful contributions of local and international agents,

1-54 will also present a wide programme of bespoke events in partnership with Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain Al Madeen (MACAAL), musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech, Montresso* Art Foundation, LE 18, Comptoir des Mines Galerie and Institut Français, amongst others.

  1. Communal-knoweledge-_esav
    Event On Focus: Communal Knowledge At Large: Monday 24 February

  2. Still_roman_algerien2-katia-kameli-2
    Event On Focus: Communal Knowledge At Large - Sunday 23 February

  3. 72568552_10159075222073782_5167744718297104384_o
    Event Curating as a Collaborative Practice: Dream City

  4. Henda_a_city_called_mirage_2014-2017_courtesy_the_artist_dsc_1598
    Event On Focus: Communal Knowledge At Large - Saturday 22 February

  5. Joe-namy-disguised-as-a-dance-floor-_le18-michael_huard-3
    Event Disguised as a Dance Floor

  6. The_fictional_biennale_map
    Event Curating as Collaborative Practice: The Fictional Marrakech Biennale