Yto Barrada

A Guide to Trees / A Guide to Fossils

This is a beautiful two-volume artist’s book in a slipcase by French-Moroccan artist, Yto Barrada.

A Guide to Trees: In the satirical tradition of Jonathan Swift, Yto Barrada’s artist book is a guide humbly submitted by an anonymous bureaucrat, zealously advising his readers on how to prepare their city for a Visit by a high-ranking official. Seemingly reasonable at first, these directives gradually begin to suggest something amiss behind the patriotic Potemkin facades.

A Guide to Fossils: Millions of years ago, todayʼs Sahara desert was a tropical paradise. Today, the arid space between Moroccoʼs Atlas Mountains and the desert are home to a hardscrabble cottage industry of excavating, preparing, forging, and selling fossils. Yto Barrada has explored this unique landscape though years of research, photographs, films and objects.

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