Bouchra Khalili The Opposite of Voice-Over

2 April 2016 19 June 2016

Solo exhibition
Main hall, Färgfabriken

Curator Jonatan Habib Engqvist

Bouchra Khalili’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic region focuses on works that at their core situate voices of members of minorities, often unheard, and provides alternative conceptions of belonging and civic community.

Trained in cinema and visual art while working in several mediums, Khalili often repurposes the visual approach of documentary cinema. The Opposite of Voice-Over however invites us to move beyond appearance as it acknowledges the presence of voices often disregarded or stigmatised by systems of media logic and the regulations of national representation. Through individual enunciations, many times with the accent of a political minority, a number of strategies and discourses of resistance are deliberated against arbitrary, societally and historically defined obstructions. Through her unique capacity to combine poetry beyond written language with subject matter and the power of the spoken word Khalili creates a temporary sense of community where there is none.

The exhibition consists of works produced from 2008 to 2013. The Mapping Journey Project (2008-2011) is an 8-channel video installation. By displaying maps, on which individuals obliged to cross borders illegally, literally draw their journeys while recounting them, this work provides alternative maps to normative cartography.

The Constellations Series (8 silkscreen prints, 2011) is the closing chapter of The Mapping Journey Project. Going back to printed maps, the series reproduces each of the drawings from the videos forming The Mapping Journey Project. By translating them into the form of constellations of stars, the series suggests a geography of resistance as experienced by “singular lives … which have become, through I know not what accidents, strange poems” [Michel Foucault, The Lives of Infamous Men].

The film-trilogy The Speeches Series (2012-13) further emphasizes the critical function of speech and self-representation by operating as a platform that allows members of minorities based in Paris, Genoa, and New York respectively to address issues of language, citizenship, and class.

About the artist

Bouchra Khalili is a Moroccan-French artist. Born in Casablanca, she later studied film at Sorbonne Nouvelle and Visual Arts at the École Nationale Supérieure d´Arts de Paris-Cergy. She currently lives and works in Berlin and Oslo.

In April 2016 she will also open her solo-exhibition The Mapping Journey Project at MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2015 she had solo shows at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and MACBA, Barcelona. She recently particiapated in the 6th Marrakech Biennale; Telling Tales at MCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Memorias Imborables at MARCO in Vigo Spain. Khalili was part of Europe: The Future of History at Kunsthaus in Zurich, and the 8th Gothenburg biennale. In 2014 she exhibited at the New Museum in New York and Van Abbe museum in Eindhoven. In 2013 she was included in The Encyclopedic Palace at the Venice Biennale, had a solo-show at PAMM in Miami and at DAAD Berlin and in 2012 she was part of Intense Proximity: La Triennale at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, the 18th Biennale of Sydney. She has also shown her work at the Sharjah biennale (2011). Among her affiliations: she is a Professor for Contemporary Art at Oslo National Art Academy, and a founding member of La Cinémathèque de Tanger, an artist-run non-profit organization based in Tangiers, Morocco.

Further reading

Exhibition folder in English and Swedish. Designed by Hellsten Malmberg and edited by curator Jonatan Habib Engqvist.

To download the digital version (PDF) of the folder, click the image above.

Read about Bouchra Khalili and the exhibtion in Arabic here.


” […] trots att de anonyma resenärernas händer är det enda vi får se blir deras berättelser till individuella öden och drömmar om en bättre tillvaro på en annan plats.”

” The opposite of voice-over verkar på flera nivåer – politiskt, visuellt, poetiskt – […]

”Och som besökare inser man plötsligt vidden av den nya geopolitiska verkligheten baserad på en galen snedfördelning av världens tillgångar.”

“It is impresseive to see something so complex presentet with such clarity.”

Photot credits

Banner webpage: Detail from, Speeches-Chapter 1: Mother Tongue, From The Speeches Series (2012-2013), video trilogy. Digital Film, HD video, 4/3. 23′. 2012. Video still. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris.

Book cover: Detail from, The Constallations Fig 7, The Constallations Series (2011), silk screen print. Mounted on aluminiun and framed. 62 cm x 42 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris. Design Malmsten Hellberg.

With support from