The British Museum, London
15th Sep 2006
The recent ‘Word into Art’ exhibition at the British Museum was a groundbreaking display of contemporary art from the Modern Middle East and we are pleased to welcome the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Venetia Porter to this week’s City Circle.
This exhibition of artists from across the Middle East, from Iraq to Tunisia to Kurdistan, offered a valuable and important insight into the desires, concerns, and aspirations of the contemporary Islamic world.
This was not the Middle East cast in the reductive media soundbites of moderates, extremists, secular or religious, but rather it was shown to be a complex place resonating through the sensibilities of its contemporary artists.
The ‘Word into Art’ exhibition shows how religion, politics, popular culture and aesthetics are inextricably intertwined in the Muslim identity of the Middle East. And perhaps this can offer the European Muslim world a form of expression through which it can also interrogate and articulate its own complex Muslim experience, in a way that a revival of traditional Islamic art cannot do.
With Venetia Porter, we will be considering this, and looking at the work of the exhibition to discuss its religion, politics, identity, and aesthetics and considering how this may articulate what it means to be Muslim in the Middle East today.
Dr. Venetia Porter is Curator at the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum.
Barjeel Art Foundation will host an exhibition entitled Tariqah (Pathway) at Maraya Art Centre on the 21st of February. The exhibition will present a collection of modern and contemporary Arab artworks inspired by Islamic art traditions. The artworks have been selected from the private collection of Sultan Saud Al Qassimi, founder of Barjeel Art Foundation. The exhibition coincides with the celebration of Sharjah as ‘Capital of Islamic Culture 2014′, with pieces on display referencing the ‘pathway’ of translating ephemeral ideas into material forms through art-making.
The exhibition “Between Desert and Sea: A Selection from the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts” opened on 24 January 2013, it shows the common background in contemporary visual art between Turkey and the Arab countries that are on the shore of the Mediterranean which includes Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia.
Meem Gallery’s two-part exhibition, Modern Arab Art and Letters in Art, marks the first installment of the gallery’s new curatorial venture Meem Projects. Modern Arab Art will display key works, in a range of media (painting, sculpture, and drawings), by modern ‘pioneer’ artists.