Maja Ngom ©

In Praise of Slowness

Set up in modern-day Tangier, a hybrid city that is undergoing an accelerated urbanization as well as an unprecedented social revolution, Hicham Gardaf’s (Tangier, Morocco, 1989) project captures the experiences of vernacular traditions in contemporary space and time. Its subject is the opposition between the prospering, growing, expanding part of the city on the one hand and the old town with its ancient sounds, cooling walls, its measured steps on the other hand. The artist shows us this in his photography and in his film through men, street merchants, who announce their stock of bleaching agent with the ever-same cry, bringing it to the inhabitants and later collecting the empty plastic bottles. In Praise of Slowness examines the politics of a tradition on the brink of being forgotten, or lost. The work meditates on the nature of vanishing jobs and how these still hold the power to disrupt and reject the ruling modes of consumption in a capitalist culture.

Hicham Gardaf was born in 1989 in Tangier, Morocco, and is currently based in London. His work investigates transformations of contemporary landscape in relation to time, space, and politics of place. His work often tackles issues related to the social spaces we live in, such as buildings, streets, cities; it raises questions about practices that we apply to these places by transforming, appropriating and controlling them. His work has been shown at Guest Projects in London; Museum of African Contemporary Art AL Maaden in Marrakech; Beit Beirut in Beirut; La Friche La Belle de Mai in Marseille; Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.