Yto Barrada: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat
Yto Barrada’s work engages with self-education, architecture, palaeontology, botany, and modernist histories, in order to explore forms of knowledge
production. Through material and archival research and experimentation, Barrada’s work examines what is at stake in specific moments of obstruction.
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat brings together photographs, films, videos, sculptures, prints, and fabric works. The exhibition
focuses on threads of regeneration and growth in social and geological
Weaving interdisciplinary methods within a framework of dark humour, global economy and geologic time, the exhibition articulates a critical desire
for equality, self-expression and empowerment. This is evinced in the parallel but distinct lives of Barrada’s mother, Mounira Bouzid El Alami, central
protagonist of Tree Identification for Beginners (2018); French ethnographer Thérèse Rivière; and Lebanese modernist Saloua Raouda Choucair, who play
crucial roles in this exhibition. Their life stories and practices in the fields of geometry, architecture and botany are rich sources for Barrada’s (re)narration
of modernist histories of art, architecture, design and social development. These visionary women each engage with abstract, self-taught ways of living
and learning — techniques of creativity and inventiveness — that are revalued as contemporary skills. This take on the language of learning is drawn on in
the series Mnemonic Phrases (2019), from which this exhibition borrows its title.
Yto Barrada (b.1971) is a Moroccan-French artist based between New York and Tangier.
320 x 738 x 738 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery