Bouchra Khalili was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1975. She lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
She later graduated in Film & Media Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle and Visual Arts at the Ecole Nationale d’Arts de Paris-Cergy.
Encompassing film, video, installation, photography, printmaking, and publishing, Khalili’s practice explores imperial and colonial continuums as epitomized by contemporary forced illegal migrations and the politics of memory of anti-colonial struggles and international solidarity. Deeply informed by the legacy of post-independence avant-gardes and the vernacular traditions of her native Morocco, Khalili’s approach develops strategies of storytelling at the intersection of history and micro-narratives. Combining documentary and conceptual practices, she investigates questions of self-representation, autonomous agency, and forms of resistance of communities rendered invisible by the nation-state model.
Khalili’s work has been subject to many international solo exhibitions, including at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2019), Museum Folkwang (2018), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2018), Secession, Vienna (2018), Wexner Center for the Arts (2017), MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015), MACBA, Barcelona (2015), PAMM, Miami (2014 – 2013).
Her work was also included in collective international manifestations such as the 2nd Lahore Biennial (2020), the 12th Bamako Biennial and BienalSur, Buenos Aires (2019), Documenta 14 and the Milano Triennale (2017), The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th Venice Biennale (2013), La Triennale’, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) and the 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011). She participated to numerous collective exhibitions in international institutions such as Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2019), Cardiff National Museum and Centre Pompidou (2018), MCA, Sydney (2016), Kunsthaus, Zurich (2015), Van AbbeMuseum (2014), New Museum (2014), Carré d’Art de Nîmes and Tropen Museum, Amsterdam (2013), Haus Der Welt, Berlin (2010-2013), Hayward Gallery, London; South London Gallery, London and Cité International de l’immigration, Paris (2012), Beirut Art Center and Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2011), Reina Sofia, Madrid (2008-2009).
A nominee of the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize (2018) and the Artes Mundi Prize (2018), she was also the recipient of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute Fellowhip (2017-2018), Ibsen Award (2017), Abraaj Art Prize (2014), Sam Art Prize (2013), daad Artists-in-Berlin (2012), Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellowship (New York, 2011-2013).
She is a Professor of Contemporary Art at The Oslo National Art Academy, and a founding member of La Cinémathèque de Tanger, an artist-run non-profit organization based in Tangiers, Morocco.