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The Imaginary Aquarium

007 / 8 October 2014

To build his new project The Imaginary Aquarium, Mohamed Fariji collected and created various objects, such as posters, souvenirs, puzzles, postcards, snow-globes. These objects are real or fictional archives revolving around the former Casablanca Aquarium, which was closed in the 1980s. 


His proposal for an imaginary museum mixes symbols of Casablanca and the Moroccan aquatic ecosystem. It builds on the emptiness that followed the aquarium's closure, and the many possible narratives of its past and future.


Through this aesthetic investigation, the artist engages in a discussion about repurposing abandoned public spaces, asserting the right of citizens to participate in their future.


Mohamed Fariji's Imaginary Aquarium uses feelings of nostalgia and playfully interacts with visitors to question the complex relationships between citizens and those holding positions of power in the city. 


The exhibition was presented at Fatma Jellal Gallery (Casablanca) in June 2014. Curator: Léa Morin.


The project is supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) / الصندوق العربي للثقافة والفنون.


About the author

Mohamed Fariji

Mohamed Fariji was born in 1966 in Casablanca. He graduated from the National Fine Arts Institute of Tetuan, Morocco, and the Lotja School of Arts and design in Barcelona, Spain.


His work question the role artists play in cities by developing long-term artistic projects that are embedded in urban space. Fariji's workshops, performances, collective exhibitions and installations question power relations and public institutions.


To fill the local need of new production structures in Morocco, Fariji created in 2011 the Observatory (www.atelierobservatoire.com) located in the counrtyside near Casablanca. He currently works on site on his new project Bastana / La serre pédagogique (The Educational Greenhouse).


Léa Morin is an independent curator based in Casablanca, Morocco. Her research focuses on archives, and film heritage from North Africa and the Middle East. Her work emphasizes the complex relationships between archives, history, and contemporary art.