Bouchra Khalili

Bouchra was born in 1975 in Casablanca, Morocco. Lives and works in Berlin and Oslo.

The Speeches Series is a video trilogy produced from 2012 to 2013. The trilogy forms a video installation, composed of three digital films, each one focusing on a specific question: Mother Tongue on language and resistance, Words on Streets on citizenship, and Living Labour on immigrant working-class.
Shot in Paris and its suburbs, Genoa, and New York, respectively, Mother Tongue, Words on Streets, and Living Labour are for each constructed around five different short portraits, in which human body, voice, language, and speech, are articulated to provide with a singular perspective, aiming to articulate a collective voice. Embodiment and self-empowerment are approached as both a poetical and political act, in which language plays a major role. Based on a precise methodology, the project avoids simple interviews, in favor of a collaborative process.
Relying on a specific visual lexicon, anchored in the history of modern avantgarde film as embodied by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Khalili’s cinematic practice relies on static and precise shots, using a Brechtian distancing effect to avoid sentimentality, to approach orality as an expression of the critical function of subjectivity, as well as an invitation made to the audience to exercise critical self-reflection.

2012, Digital Film. Video, ⁴⁄₃ Colour, Sound, 23 min.
Produced for “Intense Proximity”, La Triennale,
Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

2013, Digital Film. Video, ⁴⁄₃ Colour, Sound, 18 min.
Produced for “The Encyclopedic Palace”, 55th Venice Biennale.

2013, Digital Film, Video, ⁴⁄₃ Colour, Sound, 23 min.
Developed during a fellowship at The Vera List Center
for Art and Politics, The New School, New York.
Commissioned by The Perez Art Museum Miami.