Yto Barrada: A Guide to Fossils for Forgers and Foreigners


“Each region in Morocco tells a story, a history of long-gone life illustrated by fossils: Erfoud orthoceras and sea-lilies, Alnif trilobites, Khouribga shark teeth, Agadir ammonites, Dinosaurs and their footprints in the Kem Kem and the Atlas … Nature is the original forger: it replaces an original creature with a perfect reproduction in stone.“ — Yto Barrada, p.27

This catalogue, published by Walther König, Cologne and co-produced by Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto; Carré d'art – Musée d'art contemporain, Nîmes; and The Power Plant features works from Yto Barrada’s exhibition Faux Guide at The Power Plant, presented from 15 October 2016 to 2 January 2017.

Millions of years ago, todayʼs Sahara desert was tropical. Today, the space between Moroccoʼs Atlas Mountains and the desert are home to an industry centered on excavating, preparing, forging, and selling fossils. At the center of Yto Barrada’s exhibition at The Power Plant is the film Faux départ (2015), which observes the elaborate fossil industry along the so-called “Dinosaur Road.” The film focuses on the “preparators” in this region between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert, whose work fuels thriving trade in artifacts—real, faux, and hybrid. Barrada has explored this unique landscape through years of research, photographs, films and objects. This artist’s book continues her recent work documenting this industry, where paleontology, museology, and natural history meet creativity, authenticity (and forgery), and economics.

Product Information

  • Author(s): Yto Barrada
  • Publisher: Walther König
  • Year: 2016
  • ISBN: 978-3-86335-887-7
  • Pages: 185
  • Illustrations: 83 colour illustrations
  • Dimensions: 20 cm x 27.5 cm, hardcover
  • Availability: In Stock
  • Other Information:
    Product Code: CBARRADA-F