MADRID: Moroccan artist Madiha Sebbani has been making waves in the art world as both a creator and curator.
Born in the city of Sale, Morocco, in 1991, the multi-disciplinary artist graduated from the country’s National Institute for Fine Arts, in Tetouan, in 2015 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree online in public art and new artistic strategies from Germany’s Bauhaus University while living and working in London.
The accomplished artist is the curator behind the Young Moroccan Artists (YMA) collective, putting together exhibitions in London, Cologne, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Most recently, Sebbani was invited to curate an exhibition for the ESCAP3 gallery in Cape Town, South Africa titled “Sacred,” a multi-medium show highlighting contemporary art practices in various countries.
She said: “I was delighted to show artists from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa together to discuss the sacred in contexts such as religious, political, or socio-cultural. It was a great opportunity to introduce African and Middle Eastern artists to each other which created great dialogue between them.”
This summer, Sebbani will curate an exhibition with Saudi Arabian artists including Hmoud Al-Attawi, Saad Howede, Obaid Al-Safi from Riyadh, and Ghada Al-Rabie from Madinah. The works are expected to go on show in Germany and London.
While she enjoys her curatorial endeavors, Sebbani is also a talented artist in her own right and is currently showcasing her first online solo show, “Until Further Notice,” with the ESCAP3 gallery.
Her practice often compromises minimalist performances, inspired by daily rituals and intimate gestures.
“These performative acts question our relationship with what is out of the ordinary and our ability to deviate from experimentation,” she added.
However, the artist also offers up works in different mediums, including instalations, paintings, photographs, video, and performances.
Inspired by her upbringing on a military base, Moroccan society, and daily life in Austria, where she completed a two-month residency program, the artist recently completed a project titled “Authority.”
“One of my photography series underlines the approach of the aspects of authority in Moroccan society, as well as masks, which I produced before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, where my research and concept was questioning the human controversial behavior I experienced in different places, such as the old town of Fez in Morocco, and Krems in Austria,” she said.
Various artworks from this project have been shown at Misk Art Institute in Saudi Arabia, Alyss Art Gallery in Morocco, and the Mountain View Gallery in Germany.
Sebbani noted that COVID-19 restrictions had made it difficult for artists to connect with other creatives and audiences around the world.
“As an artist, I think it was and still is a difficult time to work and connect. To keep the balance between the desire of being creative and the depressive time of being passive or indecisive and uncertain.
“However, the audience is still consuming art, fortunately, not as it used to be before because of the distances created between the physical art space and the art consumer, additionally to the condensed events online and the new technology which I am not certain that everyone has got access to.
“We can only hope for change, and work toward the end line of the pandemic,” she added.