STEVENSON is proud to present The Invaders, a 2021 film by Ghita Skali, originally commissioned by the Stedelijk Museum. We first encountered the artist’s work as part of the 2020 graduate exhibition at De Ateliers, the post-graduate art programme in Amsterdam that counts Mustafa Maluka, Dineo Seshee Bopape and Neo Matloga among its alumni, and where Marlene Dumas was on the faculty for many years.
Skali has remained in Amsterdam, where she has become a visible presence in the local scene. The Hole’s Journey, her final project at De Ateliers, was acquired by the Stedelijk Museum, and will be screened by the Eye Film Museum during Amsterdam Art Week, taking place from 15 May. Over that period, The Invaders will be also in shown at De Ateliers as part of the group show Fabulous Facts, True Fictions.
Fabienne Chiang has written of The Invaders:
Dreamt up in the first months of lockdown in 2020, Ghita Skali’s video work The Invaders strings together real-life events and a fictional narrative in a critical yet humorous reflection on a world order thrown into disarray by the unexpected arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Featuring a ‘remake of a remake’ of the American sci-fi program of the same title, The Invaders offers us a pointedly contemporary perspective on the politically contested topics of gender, migration, occupation, and invasion.
Centering on Houria, a Cheikha (a popular singer and dancer), the unfolding narrative tells the story of how she finds her local way of life threatened by Western invaders. Her favourite Moroccan biscuit brand is replaced with a French equivalent, Le Petit Prince (a reference to the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which is read by children at French schools all over the world); she is repeatedly confronted on the street by ‘begpackers’; and she ends up losing her friend – a police officer who sells her soul to the invaders – to an unfortunate accident involving the consumption of pork.
Skali was born in Casablanca in 1992 and lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied at Villa Arson in Nice, France, and attended the post-graduate programmes of the Fine Arts academy in Lyon in 2016 and De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 2018 until 2020. Her projects have recently been shown at été 78, Brussels; Project Space Festival, Berlin; Beirut Art Fair; Triangle Marseille; 18, Marrakech; Cube Independent Art Space, Rabat; Cairo Off Biennale; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2020, she became one of nine artists selected for the 2020/21 Pernod Ricard Prize.
The exhibition opens on Thursday 5 May, 6 to 8pm.