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Khalil El Ghrib

Born 1948 in Asilah (Morocco),
lives and works in Asilah (Morocco)

In his studio in Asilah, Khalil El Ghrib accumulates papers, packaging, wire, moss-covered wood — objects gleaned while wandering streets and seafronts, objects rejected by people or the waves. His works — rarely exhibited and not sold, signed nor even dated — transform under the influence of humidity, heat and oxidation. Through simple actions that he describes as “caresses to the world,” the artist nevertheless offers a future for these objects asphyxiated by their past and the events they have endured. Granted, it is a brief future, as he sometimes adds elements that accelerate their ransformation, such as insect larvae which end up destroying them. Though fascinated by these decomposition processes, Khalil El Ghrib stops the material from totally disappearing by introducing it into an environment that fosters regeneration into new life forms. Referencing the fact that light and colour variations related to the seasons affect human temperament, his installation for the Biennale consists of lumps of quicklime that aggregate paper offcuts, along with silk threads, which build up on the floor amongst the remnants of an old assembly line.

This project was made possible through the generous support of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
With the help of Dutel SA and Paprec

Khalil El Ghrib, Les 4 saisons, 2019. Courtesy de l’artiste, de la Biennale de Lyon 2019 et [of the artist, the 2019 Lyon Biennale and] galerie Aplanos, Asilah. © Blaise Adilon