Delphine Valli | THE IMPOSSIBLE PRESENT | Presentation of the project | 6th December 2022


Presentation and debate around the project and the residency at LE 18 Marrakech (Morocco

Curatorial support: Melania Rossi

Speakers with the artist and the curator: Elisa Zorzi and in connection from Morocco: Karim El Achak, Amine Lahrach, Philippe Lauro-Baranès, Juan Palao, Muhammad Valsan (Consecutive interpreter: Giustina Pennisi)  

Tuesday 6th of December at 6.30 pm AlbumArte | Via Flaminia 122, Roma

The presentation of the project The Impossible Present and of the artistic residency at LE 18 Marrakech will take place at AlbumArte, Independent Art Production Centre in Rome and cultural partner of the project, on Tuesday 6th of December 2022 at 6.30 pm. The artist will dialogue with Melania Rossi, who provided curatorial support for the project, Elisa Zorzi, while Karim El Achak, Amine Lahrach, Philippe Lauro-Baranès, Juan Palao and Muhammad Valsan will connect from Morocco (Consecutive interpreter: Giustina Pennisi).

The Impossible Present artistic residency, winner project of the 10th edition of the Italian Council, Research Fellowship with Foreign Residency, took place at the multidisciplinary cultural space LE 18, located in the old medina of Marrakech (Morocco), from the 14th of August until the 27th of October 2022.

Cultural Partners of the project: Marseille Mucem, Dipartimento della Ricerca, Opera Mundi, FAI-AR a La Cité des Arts de la Rue, Les Ecrans du Large a La Friche Belle de Mai, Rome AlbumArte, Cultural Sponsor: Parallelo42 Contemporary Art.

The artist residency envisaged in the project was initially supposed to take place at La MaisonDAR in Algiers, the town where Delphine Valli lived with her family until the age of 16. However, for bureaucratic reasons, the residency occurred in another Maghreb country, thus remaining conceptually faithful to the initial intentions of the project, aimed to reflect on the roots of the artist’s personal culture and their influence on her artistic production.

  The actual impossibility of reuniting with Algeria not only nourished Delphine Valli’s reflection on the question of return, which has been often considered utopian or impossible, but also allowed the artist to effectively integrate this new material, mental and conceptual place into her initial project. Delphine Valli recognises this city, which she experienced so intensely, as decisively inseparable from her artistic experience, considering the new path opened up in Marrakech as an essential element in bringing to light answers that only the impossibility of going to Algiers could bring to the surface.

The Possible at the heart of the Impossible has begun to make its way in a widespread manner on an existential and artistic level.

A dense network of encounters at the source of enlightening discoveries has broadened the artist’s perspective, confirming that the path to Knowledge passes through the Other.

This presentation therefore stems from the idea, which arose spontaneously, of bringing together the people who were most influential in the artist’s research during his residency in Morocco:

Karim El Achak, Architect graduated from the Polytechnic School of Turin in Architecture with specialization in Urban Planning obtained at the Institute of Architecture of Venice. In 2017 he created the Atelier Kel in Marrakech, Studio of Architecture, Urbanism and Design. Former professor in Architecture and Urbanism at ENAM (National School of Architecture of Marrakech) and currently at UIR (International University of Rabat). Although he dissociates Architecture from Craftsmanship, once he defines his projects in their volumes and spaces, he invites craftsmen to freely interpret the traditional language of which they are repositories and aims to bring the great Moroccan architectural tradition into modernity.

Amine Lahrach, Artist interested in performance art, visual art, and slam poetry. Building from everyday idioms, his approach is based on social friction, on the rubbing given by the encounter between him and society, to reinterpret social reflection, which is the collective thought about “what is around”. After several experiences in the Casablanca underground scene, in 2018 he joins Qanat and in 2019 LE 18. In 2020, he initiates Safina, aimed to explore new forms of acting collectively and re-inhabiting urban spaces in Safi (Morocco).

Philippe Lauro-Baranès, curator of KamarStudios_Morocco, with Khalid Içame, Ouled Kamar Ensemble, Maâlem Abbès Larfaoui Baska.

Juan Palao, studied Arabic language and literature in Seville. He has been living in Marrakech since 2011, where he has worked as a translator and librarian, at Dar al-Ma’mûn and at the Jardin Majorelle Foundation’s library at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum among others. He is responsible for moderating meetings with artists in Marrakech in various spaces, such as LE 18 or the Voice Gallery. He is a speaker at ESAV Marrakech on topics ranging from the great literary classics to dematerialisation in contemporary art.

Muhammad Valsan, Director of the journal Science sacrée and the publishing house of the same name, which is specialised in the comparative study of foundational texts and symbolism. Particularly committed to interreligious dialogue, he participates in numerous international conferences. He is currently Professor of Architectural Ethics at the National School of Architecture in Marrakech (ENAM).

Elisa Zorzi, specialises in cultural Mediation and Migration in the Mediterranean. In 2021 she does an internship at LE 18, during which she investigates the ways in which the contemporary art world relates to “non-Western” artistic production. From 2021 she works on the Safina project, to explore new ways of thinking about and experiencing the city through intimate and emotional geography. In 2022 she drafts the publication ‘Tighaline – Underwater Revelations’, which presented the Safina project at Documenta 15.

Melania Rossi, project curatorial support, art critic and curator based in Rome. She graduated in Literature with a specialisation in History of Art at the University of Florence, and later obtained a Master’s degree in Art Management. She curated exhibitions in public and private spaces in Italy and

abroad and conceived and co-curated exhibitions within international festivals and biennialssuch as Romaeuropa Festival and Manifesta. She works closely with artists of different generations, supporting them in personal and collective projects. As an author, she edits exhibition catalogues, writes essays for art publications and magazines, and she conceived and wrote art programmes for Italian television.

Giustina Pennisi, interpreter in debate, was born in Sicily, on the east coast, between Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, to a noble family, strict but open and welcoming, steeped in art and culture. She graduated from the Higher School for Interpreters and Translators in Rome. She is a member of ASSOINTERPRETI, the National Association of Professional Conference Interpreters, of which she is still an active member. She lives in Rome travelling for work, curiosity and a desire to get to know the world. She has been interpreter for Andrej Tarkovskij, Clint Eastwood, Tahar Ben Jaloun, Isabel Allende, among others. In 2009, she returned to Sicily where she continues to carry out her work as interpreter and translator with the same care and enthusiasm as always.

LE 18 Marrakech, is a multidisciplinary cultural and residency space established in 2013 and located in the old medina of Marrakech. It aims to provide time and space for research, creation, encounter, mutual learning and the crosspollination of knowledge. The space has developed organically and through a collaborative, open ethos, (un)learning from and in dialogue with the various communities it works with, in an institutional practice based on horizontality and collaboration. Through a fluid network of collaborators and various formats including exhibitions, residencies, conversations, workshops, and publications, LE 18 has become a collective learning platform, listening to, and critically tackling the multiple dynamics, processes, and infrastructures shaping the cultural, political, and economic lives of their local and trans-local ecosystem.