February 16, 2013

Bouchra Khalili

Freedman Gallery at Albright College
Bouchra Khalili, The Seaman, 2012. Video still; digital film, color, sound, 11 minutes. © Bouchra Khalili. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris.

The Freedman Gallery at Albright College is pleased to present a video by Bouchra Khalili. This is the first time The Seaman will be shown in the United States, and will be on view in the Gallery’s Project Space from February 19 to March 8, 2013. Erin Riley-Lopez, Curator of the Freedman Gallery, organized this exhibition.

Filmed against the backdrop of Hamburg, Germany’s container terminal, this 11-minute single-channel video is divided into three distinct chapters: “Merchandise,” “Isolation,” and “Home.” The terminal is shown alternately during the day and evening hours as a deserted space, devoid of any human presence—the crates and machines of the terminal become the moving figures in the video. A voiceover narrative—of a Filipino seaman talking about his daily life on shipping cargos—blends seamlessly with the image. Working symbiotically, the narrative and image convey the experience of permanent exile.

About the artist
Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili was born in 1975, in Casablanca, Morocco. Raised between Paris and Casablanca, she later studied Cinema at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, and Visual Arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts, Paris-Cergy. She lives and works between Paris and Berlin.

Bouchra Khalili’s work in video, mixed-media installations, photography, and prints combines a conceptual approach with a documentary practice to explore issues of clandestine existences and political minorities. In her work, she articulates language, subjectivity, discourse and speech, transitional territories and transit zones, investigating the interrelation between contemporary migrations and colonial history, physical and imaginary geography.

Her work has been shown extensively around the world, including recently at Intense Proximity – La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2012); The 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012); The Museum of Modern Art as part of the film exhibition Mapping Subjectivity (New York, 2011); The 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011); The Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, 2011); The Liverpool Biennial (2010); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2010); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2010); INIVA, (London, 2010); Gallery 44, (Toronto, 2010); The Reina Sofia National Museum, (Madrid, 2009); and The Queens Museum of Art, (New York, 2009), among others.

She is also the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including The Louis Lumière Award (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2005); The Image/Mouvement Grant (French Ministry of Culture, 2007); The Videobrasil Residency Award (Sao Paulo, 2009); and The Cultures France Hors Les Murs Award in 2010. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Daad – Artist in Berlin Award, and The Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellowship (The New School, New York, in association with ArteEast).

To learn more about the exhibition please visit

The Freedman Gallery is located in the Center for the Arts at Albright College on 13th and Bern Streets, Reading. For more information or disabled assistance, please call 610 921 7715.

Albright is a nationally ranked private college with a rigorous liberal arts curriculum with an interdisciplinary focus. The College’s hallmarks are connecting fields of learning, collaborative teaching and learning, and a flexible curriculum that allows students to create an individualized education. Albright College enrolls more than 1,650 undergraduates in traditional programs, 800 adult students in accelerated degree programs and 100 students in the master’s program in education.


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