All Exhibitions

Yto Barrada: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat

2 August 2020 - 6 December 2020

Curated by: Laura Barlow and Wadha Al-Aqeedi 

Tickets must be purchased online in advance of your visit.

Yto Barrada’s work engages with self-education, architecture, palaeontology, botany, and modernist histories, in order to explore forms of knowledge production. Through material and archival research and experimentation, Barrada’s work examines what is at stake in specific moments of obstruction.

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat brings together photographs, films, videos, sculptures, prints, and fabric works. The exhibition focuses on threads of regeneration and growth in social and geological transformation.

Weaving interdisciplinary methods within a framework of dark humour, global economy and geologic time, the exhibition articulates a critical desire for equality, self-expression and empowerment. This is evinced in the parallel but distinct lives of Barrada’s mother, Mounira Bouzid El Alami, central protagonist of Tree Identification for Beginners (2018); French ethnographer Thérèse Rivière; and Lebanese modernist Saloua Raouda Choucair, who play crucial roles in this exhibition. Their life stories and practices in the fields of geometry, architecture and botany are rich sources for Barrada’s (re)narration of modernist histories of art, architecture, design and social development. These visionary women each engage with abstract, self-taught ways of living and learning — techniques of creativity and inventiveness — that are revalued as contemporary skills. This take on the language of learning is drawn on in the series Mnemonic Phrases (2019), from which this exhibition borrows its title.

Yto Barrada (b.1971) is a Moroccan-French artist based between New York and Tangier.


Founded in 2010, is situated in Education City in Qatar Foundation (QF), in a renovated former school building.

“Danse Macabre (My-City-Knife-of-the-Sun)”, 2018, Wicker, reed, rope, wood, and metal, Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

“My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat”, 2019, Letterpress print, 48 x 32 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

“Tree Identification for Beginners”, 2018, Still from 16mm film transferred to video, sound, 35 min, 15 sec. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

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