Based in Marrakesh, Morocco, LE 18 is an experimental cultural space focusing on photography and image production, the poetics and politics of water, orality, and storytelling.
In Kassel, LE 18 tells its story through contributions of its associated artists, together with a public program of talks, workshops, and screenings.
Since its creation in 2013, LE 18 has operated as an experimental cultural and artistic space
hosting multidisciplinary art and research practices in Marrakesh, Morocco. The center focuses on gathering people together through exhibitions, public programs, and artists’ residencies. Over the years, as different artists and cultural workers joined the team, a broader community of contributors and collaborators has led to diverse conversations,
creating a common space in which different visions and practices could take place. LE 18 is invested in several research axes: photography and image production, the politics and poetics of water, and orality and storytelling. These became the focus of cycles of exhibitions, public programs, symposia, and workshops.
As a community-driven space, LE 18 connects with similarly invested initiatives and spaces in and out of Morocco, building different communities of shared interest. In this respect, LE 18 functions in concentric ways, working with regional collaborators and with young artists, cultural thinkers, and other local groups. The cultural space has always prioritised sharing the process of projects with their audiences: it develops visual arts practices with the artists
that it hosts and accompanies them in Marrakesh to expand their projects in the ecosystem of the city and the rural regions around it. The experimental nature of LE 18 allows it to be a fluid and flexible place where conversations and their transmission areparamount.
At documenta, LE 18’s history is told through an exhibition of artworks* by artists who
populated its space in Marrakesh throughout the years. It is an archival exhibition that aims to shed light on the different stages and relevant themes of the space itself. An audio-guide, voiced by the artists, connects their individual projects to the broader history of LE 18. In addition, LE 18 has prepared a public program of talks, workshops, and screenings that brings together its closest collaborators, who will share and focus on the three main research axes. True to its mission of fostering spontaneous conversations and gatherings, LE 18 has
erected a shared common space with a library where visitors can relax and look through published materials and other productions.
Text by Rayya Badran
At documenta, LE 18 transforms its former exhibition space at WH22 into a place for
conversations and exchanges around the processes, challenges, and failures that emerged
during our preparation for and participation at documenta. It therefore opens itself to
addressing a sense of exhaustion and [self]exploitation triggered by major art events. In this sense, it lends itself to the exploration of the structures cultural workers operate in and offers
to collectively and openly deconstruct them.
This shift should not be understood as a withdrawing from, but rather as a putting in common with. Indeed, as the title of our proposal - A Door to the Sky - or a Plea for Rain could have already suggested, our site is reinforced as a space-time to rest. As such, it will be open to all invited artists at documenta as well as to the general public in order to find and share
modes of regenerating and relearning after crisis.
A footnote by LE 18 proposed on April 20th 2022 to the editorial team of documenta fifteen. The proposed revision was not integrated in the printed handbook.