Curators of the exhibition: Christine Bouilloc and Arnaud Maurières
Exhibition design: Younes Duret
The musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech is pleased to announce its next temporary exhibition, Desert Design, which will showcase the incredible talent of Berber weavers.
The exhibition will feature thirty contemporary rugs woven by women of the Aït Khebbach, a tribe found in the easternmost region of Morocco at the gateway to the Sahara. The vibrant colours and modern patterns of the rugs, as well as the recycled material used to make them, bear witness to the remarkable creativity of these Berber weavers, and contrast with the harsh and desolate environment in which they live.
Arnaud Maurières, co-curator of the exhibition, describes the moment he saw these rugs for the first time :
In December 2010, we were exploring the eastern Moroccan desert, a vast plain devoid of trees, shadows and water. It was there, in the middle of nowhere, that we came upon two modest earthen structures: the home of our guide, Lahcen, and his family. Nine people lived within the walls; there was nothing in the unpainted interior that resembled furniture. The only thing we noticed was a pile of rugs in the corner of one of the rooms. As they were unfolded to welcome us, the floor suddenly seemed dappled with vibrant colours, which astounded us. Lahcen told us that all the women of his tribe wove such rugs, and asked if we wanted to meet them. It was how our adventure began.
The Desert Design exhibition allows us to travel through a rich spatio-temporal landscape as we discover the unique talent of these women weavers. Their Aït Khebbach rugs, filled with unexpected patterns and bursts of colour, reflect a modernism and freedom of expression, and reveal the genesis of a tribal style that is thoroughly contemporary.
This exhibition at the musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech works in harmony with the exceptional collection of Amazigh carpets and rugs found at the nearby Berber Museum, in the heart of the Jardin Majorelle, and underlines the importance that both institutions place on preserving Moroccan heritage.